There’s a neat story behind this painting. Last year the mother of a congregation member of Redeemer Redmond, the church I pastor, passed away. A few months after her passing, her daughter and husband, and other family members and friends, went on a hike into the mountains, a kind of pilgrimage, to celebrate her and remember her life and to spread her ashes. When I heard about the hike they planned I told them to take photographs. I promised to paint a picture as a gift, a memorial. They did they hike and it was very meaningful. And they took a lot of pictures along the way which they later shared with me.

I wasn’t able to do the painting in the winter. Then the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Our church couldn’t gather at our regular place of worship. I wanted to do something special for Easter and I came up with the idea to ask congregation members to record themselves saying parts of the liturgy. I also needed to have some B-roll to go over the three songs by our musicians. I decided to ask a couple of people who are creative, one who is a terrific cook, the other who makes incredible flower arrangements, to film themselves doing their thing. I decided that I would film myself painting and wondered what subject I should chose. It dawned on me that it would be a great time to paint the promised commission, especially since my congregation’s mother was a devout woman who hoped in Christ’s victory over death. I went through the photographs my friends had sent and chose one that seemed to fit: it had a sense of grander, wonder, mystery and the light of morning breaking forth.

The painting turned out OK. I was able to weave it in with the other videos into our congregation’s celebration of the hope and joy we have in Christ. Here it is.

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