"Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number; he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Hast thou not known?
I was at a point in my life, very quietly, a few years ago where I felt there was no way out of several heartrending challenges. I'd been trying to handle them, but it was like butting my head against a wall. I prayed for answers but could see none. Once again (how many times do you have to "learn" something?) I was brought to realize "I" couldn't fix it.
For the better part of a year, my thoughts went round and round and round as I tried to think and act my way to good solutions. Every day the mental merry-go-round started in my head in the early hours of the morning and went on until I passed out in weariness late that night. The later I went to bed, I thought, perhaps I could sleep through the night.
I knew intellectually that I needed to let go, but I was too afraid. One of the problems had to do with a life-threatening situation and my child.
One afternoon, sitting in the quiet of my home at the beginning of the busy summer season, praying to understand, I saw the moving scene of my painting Standing on the Rock again, but this time the woman, me, was not on the rock, but trying to get up on its slippery, mossy surface. I thought about the meaning of the rock, the power and strength of absolute Truth, and remembered the blessings that had come to me when I first saw that vision. I felt a surge of comfort. I clung to it.
As my thought quieted, it moved to a new scene, a vast white space. There was a woman sitting in the foreground of the white space, knees drawn up, arms wrapped around her legs, bare feet, head bowed down as though in abject misery.
Or was she praying? Where was this? Was she in heaven? Is this what heaven is like? What is life beyond material human existence? What is a life of pure spirit?
Then a doorway appeared directly above the woman, and a beautiful beam of golden light emanating from the doorway. I felt a calming presence there. Then more doors appeared, circling above and behind and all around her, and fading in and out of the doorways were scenes, beautiful scenes, many different vistas.
I wish I could paint it exactly as I saw it, but to do so I'd need some sort of as-yet-not-invented video paintbrush.
It was beautiful, but the woman's head was still bowed down. I just wanted to shout to her, "Lift up your head! Open your eyes!"
Of course, I realized. She's doing what I've been doing. I'd been closing my eyes to the spiritual answers to my problems by dwelling on the problems. Seeing answers by dwelling on problems doesn't work. You can't focus on light if your head is turned toward darkness. "I" needed to lift my head and open "my" eyes. The words of a beautiful hymn came to me. "Light blesses opened eyes...."
And things once again worked out one by one. But not of my doing.
The idea of lifting you head, opening your eyes, is far from a new one. There are countless Bible passages and philosophical references that tell us to "lift up" our heads and open our eyes - and not just in bad times, but all the times!
I knew painting the vision I had seen could serve a good purpose, be a reminder to anyone who sees it. I had the same feeling about it as I did the vision of Standing on the Rock. It was in that spirit that I put it ahead of my originally intended Vol. 3 painting. I had to paint it while it was fresh.
I have painted only a few of the doorways I saw in the vision. The rest are for you to fill in with your own pathways. We all have our own paths, but all interwoven in the vast fabric of life. For now, our paths have crossed. I hope this painting gives you whatever inspiration you need - hope, peace, strength - wherever your journey leads. It is dedicated to you.
In Truth, there is no way out... of God's presence, care, and power. Now and always.