Sometimes in life we are encouraged to count our blessings, to be grateful. This can be a useful practice, but when we do this to the exclusion of acknowledging the struggles in our life it can feel inauthentic.
Sometimes we find ourselves totally focused on the shadows and struggles of life. When we do this without acknowledging the blessings, the birds singing, the rhododendron about to burst into bloom, life can be overwhelming even debilitating.
There is scripture at the beginning of the Gospel of John that speaks to this for me. It says; "In God was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
It does not say that darkness ceases to exist. It says that darkness does not overcome the light. This is a scripture that I have returned to when my faith becomes threadbare from the struggles and suffering in the world.
The truth of this scripture comes to me as I paint. To hold the light and darkness together. The blessings and the struggles. And. Both. Life. And the invitation to wrap it all in love.
I had the honor to share these paintings and some of my story at Gloria Dei Church over the weekend. It was a blessing and joy. I love sharing my art and inspiration, and I'm open to future opportunities as well.