Word And Two Sparrows, by Danica Thurber, 2010, acrylic on canvas
I was a freshman in college and I was having a hard-core identity crisis. It was a really rough time, to be honest.
Walking and praying, I felt God say to me, “Look at the creation around you. Isn’t it beautiful? You also are my creation.”
Slowly and steadily, God was changing my perspective (which is why, in my art process, I turned the painting sideways and finished it that way). The perspective change was declaring my worth in God's eyes, which are very different from my own.
When He made made, he knew I'd be an artist. He has also enabled me to see beauty, and to create. I just needed his help to see that same beauty in myself, as His work of art.
He says that I am as beautiful as the tree, the stars, the moon. I am as valuable - and even more – than the sparrow.
"Wow! So what do the words around your head say?"
That's easy. I took a bunch of Bible verses that were tumbling around my heart and mind at the times and I knit them together in my own hymn of praise in response to what God was showing me.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. / For where can I flee from your presence? If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for you wrap yourself in light as with a garment; You stretch out the heavens like a tent / The heavens declare your glory; the skies proclaim the work of your hands. The morning stars sing together and all the angels shout for joy, their voice goes out into all the earth / And You ask me, "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? / “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not recognize the hand of the Lord?” / For In your hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. How many are your works! the earth is full of your creatures. In your wisdom you made them all / And yet I am so foolish and unwise / Is he not my Father, my Creator, who made me and formed me? / But now says my Lord, “When you pass through the waters, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned or consumed. For I will be with you. I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; I say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you. Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, and you are mine.’ / “Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the Father. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows/ I even know the number of hairs on your head. / ”For you, my Lord, you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful.”
-text inspired by Deteronomy 32:6; Job 12:7-10; Job 38:1-7: Psalm 19:1,4a; Psalm 139:7; 11-13, 14, 23; Psalm 104 :1-2, 4, 24; Isaiah 43:1-2, 10, 13; Matthew 10:29-31 (New International Version)
"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?