( Note from editor: an introduction to this series of blog posts can be found HERE.)
‘Come now, let us settle the matter’
The still life picture that I put together to show part of the character of God was of one forgiveness. I chose forgiveness as it touched so many layers of a parallel personal and faith journey which really began when I joined the Rock Salt Collective nineteen months ago.
The first time I experienced real personal rejection, I sought out the passage Isaiah 40:31 when I needed words of encouragement ‘but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’ At a key point of that rejection, I sought out the words again but mistakenly, so I thought at the time, typed into google ‘Ephesians’ instead of ‘Isaiah’ and stumbled across the passage Ephesians 4:32, ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’. It was a powerful uplifting moment which strengthened my resolve. It poignantly reminded me of the Christ who was also rejected, the pain and sufferance he endured on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The readings and thought processes are the basis of the still life objects illustrated to depict a forgiving God which is linked to my own personal and faith journey and how they touched, overlapped... became one.
So here goes,
Heavy chain: has two distinct meanings for me, it symbolises a series of people linked together with a sequence of events that are connected. The chain can also mean the carrying of a heavy burden which restricts freedom of actions or choices.
Padlock: I deliberately used an unlocked padlock connected to the chain to illustrate that we are allowed the freedom of choice both in our personal and faith journeys, all we have to do is set those chains free.
Slate: The clean slate is used here with the heavy chain and padlock draped over it with an imaginary record of someone’s past with no transgressions recorded on it, or all previous transgressions forgotten, wiped clean. I initially was going to chalk and wipe over to leave the impression of someone’s past (mine!) transgressions but truth be told I forgot to bring the chalk! In some ways, I am pleased that it remains clean.
Knitting needles: are linked to the chain deliberately to signify tools that can create new beginning, patterns with choices which can realise the diversity and fulfilment of our lives with like-minded connected people.
White wool: symbolised purity, transparency, goodness, integrity and honour. Again, the wool is attached to the knitting needles whilst the chain linked to the opened padlock is draped over the slate are all interconnected. I felt that this description was becoming a little heavy when discussing the still life in the group and asked others how I could lighten it. Response ‘Who unravelled yer knitting’…mmm God!
Red cloth: is crimson and central to the photograph as it symbolises the spilt blood of Christ which flows through all of the still life elements.
Red wine: pure and simply symbolises the blood of Christ.
Nails: invoke an immense amount of emotion within me as they symbolise the pain of Christ. The group experimented with angles and differing soft and diffused lighting therefore I was pleased that the light has caught and highlighted them here.
Candle: simply the light to show the way.
Soap: wrapped and offered as a gift to cleanse, make new.
Bible: the words to describe God as the forgiver of sins. Once I finished the composition, I found the passage that described the still life beautifully for me albeit it was Ephesians that prompted me into the composition in the first instance...
‘Come now, let us settle the matter’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’
This blog was brought to you by Moira Scott who is new to the church and enjoying the fellowship. How do I describe myself? Better ask those that know me…..but I love my two sons who are both married to a Louise, different Louise’s mind you, in case I forget their names… and of course I love my beautiful granddaughter…not that I am in any way biased!