I live in a mixed-up world. Even my church’s lent services occur on Tuesday evenings rather than Wednesdays. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. Other times, I remember the design and beauty in my own existence. Here is a re-post of my personal story, one I originally posted almost a year ago:
I have wanted for some time to change my profile in order to simplify myself and clarify my goals better as a blogger. I’ve seen profiles that are simple and beautiful, typed from the hands of people who seem to know themselves. They remind me of Tom Petty’s Free Falling song: she loves Jesus, horses, and America, too. Why is it so simple for others? My world seems far too scattered. Then the truth dawned on me, and it was clarity itself. I’m here today by the grace of God, and there’s really not much else to say–except for a little story. It’s not a long one, because I’m far too tired to write my epic autobiography tonight.
When my mother was pregnant with me, she had a nightmare that the devil was going to steal me from her. This was the time of the Roe v Wade trial, and the clinic where she was receiving prenatal care tried to convince her to have an abortion. She and my father were very poor, and my mom had just given birth to my sister. From the clinic’s point of view, it was not practical or healthy for my mom to have another baby at that time.
Fortunately for me, my parents did not take their advice. Unfortunately, my mom could not carry me to full term, and I was born prematurely, despite the best efforts of the hospital. The first year of my life was terrible (or so I’ve heard. I don’t personally remember.) I screamed continuously and couldn’t digest anything. It must have been nerve-wracking for my poor mom, and my dad, too, I suspect. Somewhere along the way, though, my dad painted a peaceful moment of my mom bathing me. It’s a classic style painting, perhaps Rembrandt influenced, with natural light focused on me and on her arms that are holding me.
This painting belongs to me now, though originally it was a loaner. It hangs above my bed. If I examine it closely, I will discover the faint calligraphic signature which reads, by the grace of God. My dad understood the truth thirty-odd years ago. God is my author and my painter, and, today, I am able to rest in that knowledge.
p.s. No, I’m sorry, I’ve never photographed the painting. I should, though. The image you see above is from The Pilgrim’s Progress. A long time ago, I downloaded the image, and I have no idea where I found it. I apologize for that.