It’s Wednesday again already! Time for another installment of Faith and Art, featuring the work of one of the friends of Shepherd of the Valley, Idaho artist Rosanna Cartwright.
We’re going to keep running Rosanna’s pieces for a bit, but as we go along we’ll also be accepting art from members of Shepherd of the Valley and other friends surrounding our community. If you have created something that ties to faith in a way you think others would understand, talk to Pastor Dave at 208-362-1112 and we’ll try to use it!
As a regular habit that’s almost become a spiritual discipline, Rosanna draws during sermons and Bible Studies. The doodling that once would have gotten your knuckles rapped has now become an avenue of faith! Even though Rosanna does many grandiose pieces, these sketches are some of my favorites.
Look at this one:
This is a bit unconventional in a couple ways.
It’s unusual to have a drawing contain so many words. Words and visual depictions are often considered at odds with each other. Yet God comes to us through words, which we then interpret into images in our own lives, just as Rosanna has done in this sketch.
Here Rosanna has included several verses from the Gospel of John. It’s almost as if the words are looming over her drawing, like they’re putting the picture under pressure, weighing down and squeezing in on Jesus, who reaches out to the viewer with one hand and points in a further direction with the other. Visually, there’s a sense of, “We can’t stay here. All these words are going to fall on us like a curtain. Take my hand and let’s go.” This is the same message the words, themselves, convey. Something big and heavy is happening that we don’t understand. We’re moving, but we’re not sure where. When all this falls on us, Jesus grabs our hand and we follow him. Even when we can’t stay put, we still hold on.
There’s an irony in this drawing, though. It’s titled “Ascension”, which is the moment when Jesus rose, leaving his disciples to sit at the right hand of the Father. Though the words in the sketch come from the Gospel of John, the ascension never actually happens in that gospel! It only shows up in the Gospel of Luke.
But see, this is why artwork and perspectives like Rosanna’s (and yours) are important. A pastor might not ever put the words from John together with the word “Ascension”, but they do fit! When most people say, “Ascension”, they think of Jesus leaving into the sky, becoming invisible. The way we talk about it, it’s almost like he abandons us. By linking John’s words to the Ascension, Rosanna reminds us that it was not an abandonment, but part of an ongoing journey we’re all taking together. We continue to hold onto the ascended Jesus, just like we always have. We still make the journey together.
What do you think of when you consider our journey together with God now, and following Jesus through the unknown into something wonderful, yet unseen? Share your thoughts below if you wish!
You can find Rosanna Cartwright’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/rosanna.cartwright.3