The Arrow Of Grace: Reflections on painting “Rise Up”

While the paint was still drying on “Rise Up” I wrote this reflection on the process:

I just finished the Rise Up painting. What strikes me most is how uncomfortable I feel. How unperfect it looks. How unimpressive and simple.

Usually when I sit down to paint I have peace. I wait for a rest to wash over me and it comes with a release to paint. To do one of my sound paintings I waited almost a year for the peace to come. But with the arrow of grace I feel there is an urgency. Some time in the first week of June, just a few days from now is the Jewish Holiday of Jubilee during the Jubilee year. I feel that the right time to release this painting is over those dates. Today is pretty much the only day I have left to sit and paint before it needs to be ready to share it, but I had no peace.

But I did have a release. I felt God prompt me to go up and paint even though I didn’t feel settled. This arrow calls forth something that there is a great struggle to keep hidden. It calls to life a grace to do uncomfortable things. And so it makes sense to me that even the process of painting it made my skin crawl.

I could feel the tension and the anger. The unrest and hissing of the enemy. He screamed in my ear the whole time that it was no good. I should start over. It wouldn’t do anything in the spirit and it won’t mean anything to anyone. With each stroke to the canvas, my heart replied, “Not in my own strength but his. Not my will but his.”

When the arrow was done I began to paint a gold border around the edges of the canvas. I was undecided if this was the right thing to do even while I did it, but I did it anyway. I wanted light to reflect off the sides of the canvas and glow on the wall. I wanted the painting itself to be able to reflect light. I wanted a clean crisp line, but got a messy one. And I heard holy spirit say, “Messy is ok.”

Battles are messy. Battles come with mistakes, insecurity and unclear choices at times. It doesn’t mean that we are not fighting well if we feel these things. Victory is ours. Period. No matter what. If we will step into it.

I stopped to let the painting dry for awhile. It looked better when I turned it to the light. I could see now how the simplicity gave it strength. But I noticed something at the tip of the arrow that unsettled me. Three spikes had come up. I didn’t like how angry they made the arrow look. So I joined the three spikes together… and to my surprise they formed a sort of heart shape. I added a little more to make the heart more visible.

I have never added a shape to the sound wave paintings before. I keep them strictly sound waves. But I heard the holy spirit say, “An arrow tipped with love.” If we move in the spirit of prophecy but do not have love we are nothing.

When I stepped further back it looked like a small flame tipped the arrow. And I remembered the end of the blog I wrote to release the painting to you, “Lets light arrows of grace on fire with the testimony of our lives.”  I saw thousands of these flaming arrows falling from the sky all over the United States. Lighting hearts of fire with the love of the father.

Allowing the holy spirit to purify our lives is such a beautiful act. But it can also be painful. This arrow of grace was created in a spirit surrendered to Jesus that gave him permission to move even when it was hard.

Prints of “Rise Up” are available here: 



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