Thank you to my friends who asked me to write about this piece of artwork. I painted it, on stage, at the 2015 Karitos Worship Arts Conference and Retreat.
It is the first year in 21 years, that Karitos used the format of a retreat. Because helping people “find their rest in Christ” has become my passion, I strongly identified with taking this year off of business as usual. It was a step back year and it was awesome!
When I heard Matt Tommey speak a couple years ago, I knew we shared a similar passion for setting artist free to pursue their calling. I purchased his book, Unlocking the Heart of the Artist, a few years ago and read part of it. I finished it before the conference. It is power-packed and life-giving to artists. When I thought of the theme of this year, Unlocking the Heart of the Artist, this image came to mind. Originally called, Kingdom Come now it is titled Release. Release more accurately expresses the heart behind the piece.
I was invited to paint, as a part of the program on stage, this year. Although I’ve never done it before, it became evident to me, that I was to do it. I painted for three hours during the finale of the conference. It was an amazing experience. I loved painting while the worship was happening and listening to Matt bring his passionate wrap up. I loved Vivien Hibbert leading worship too. It was an out of the box, full sensory experience. It was all amazing!
The painting is based on abiding in Christ found when you read John 15. The concept of abiding in Christ for Christians, is as elemental as breathing is to humanity. Even so, the importance of abiding is rarely understood at that depth. As we rest in Christ, and live intimately at home in His love, we produce fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. This is the kingdom fruit that God predestined Christ followers to produce. We release Christ’s love to a lost and hurting world.
The image shows that we are grafted into Christ. And God, the Good Gardener, binds up our wounds. We are in covenant with Him. As we rest in Christ, the Holy Spirit flows through us to produce kingdom fruit. That is how we bring “up there, down here.”
In John 7:38, Jesus says rivers of living water will flow from the innermost part of your being. When we rest in Christ and allow Him to work through us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, whatever we do becomes a cup of cool water, in Jesus name, to those who are thirsty.