"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6
This is another of many paintings I made for "This is Heaven" series, celebrating the hope of heaven, and pointing yearning hearts to God and our true aims to live and love well for Heaven's sake. (Harmony #150 Acrylic painting on thick edge canvas, gold underlay, 24"x36". Sold.) This painting meant a lot to me. I worked on it for the majority of the pandemic, and a lot of highs and lows went into it. I have never worked on a painting for so long, reworking it again and again.
This piece inspired me to see God's sanctifying work through Christian community. Day by day God works in us to reflect His Son to the nations. This isn't meant to look uniform, but rich in diversity, giftings, talents, and callings. Experiencing extended grace in real challenging times can surprise the heart of the knowingly undeserving. It's a picture of Christ to sometimes suffer in love for someone you want to know the love of God. It's in this way I imagine all God's children planted in a garden, growing side by side at different heights and depths of faith, wild yet forgiven, and prickly at times yet always loved. Though we are imperfect, struggling to offer grace or let God's work be done within us, we all accomplish pointing heavenward for God's purpose, to move more into His garden, the closer we get to entering Heaven.