How God is showing me, "Look at me and do what I do."
Heaven and Earth, by Danica Thurber, 2020, acrylic on canvas
The title of this painting is a shorthand version of Matthew 6:10
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
I've been thinking more and more about my role as an artist in the Kingdom. Oh day, I actually asked God, "What's my role? What do you want me to do?" And I heard a gentle whisper in my soul:
"Look at me and do what I do."
What a simple task - and yet a very large and complicated one for an artist! When I create, I realize that unlike God, I cannot create out of nothing. I'm always inspired by a thought, image, or experience I've had before. I combine it and portray it in new ways, yes, but is there really anything totally original in the world? I think not.
I love being an artist, and I especially love being what I call a "Kingdom Artist"! It's so good for me to remember that I paint as a reflection of the only Original Artist.
That's what I'm showing here in the painting:
I began with only me and God, creating together. But there was this empty space in the bottom left corner. What should go here? Hmm...
I began to see that the “reflection” painted by only one artist is always incomplete, because of our limited perspective. So I added more people with me, each painting a different part of what they see God doing.
The hands beside me represent people from every nation and culture; each one has a unique perspective to reflect to the world. The Kingdom of God is beautifully full of different kinds of people with different kinds of gifts.
An invitation to look closer
Want a good reflective moment? Take a listen to Hillsong United's "So Will I" while looking at the full painting.
"God of creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light [...]
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I"
"Do you always paint faith-based paintings?"
Not always, but a lot of the time, yes. I see my paintings as a sort of "visual diary" to process what I'm going through. As a Christian, what I'm going through is directly tied to my whole self: body, mind, and spirit. I can't process much - be it good, bad, or boring - without processing it through my faith as well.
"This image really touched me! Where can I get a print?"
I'm honored that the image spoke to you. It's so cool that something so personal to me is able to speak to others' hearts as well. As a working artist and (soon-to-be) working mom, your support of my work means the world to me.
Visit the online store to purchase a print for yourself, or give it as a gift to encourage a friend of yours who's going through a hard time.
Comment below: What does this image mean to you?