I’m going to describe a scenario that demonstrates the point of my last post. In that post I stated that our words are not innocuous, rather they are charged with meaning. Our words actually reveal our God and the source of our life. Living words come from God, evil words emanate from Satan. Our words reveal the source of our worship.
A Portrait and Words
I am currently painting a self-portrait from one of my baby pictures. I have always loved this picture and it has tons of meaning to me. God has used it to minister to me about the direction of my heart, the purpose of my gaze, and the fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. For me it’s not just some random snapshot, it’s a love note from God.
Because of the significance of this image to me, I’m taking a lot of time and pride in painting it. I’m now at the stage where I am sketching the image on the canvas prior to painting. On this particular day, I was talking to my art teacher about it and I mentioned that the finger that I am holding up in the image was the finger that I sliced off. I joked and said it’s like my infant self was calling out to say, “Hey, when you’re 44, you’re going to cut this finger off. Be careful!” (huh huh huh)
My teacher was shocked and immediately asked to see my finger. Then I told him about how I had disassociated myself from the finger because to me it was like a Franken-finger. Though it was on my hand, it wasn’t my finger. I told my teacher that God shockingly told me, “Put it in your mouth!” And in a wave of obedience, that primal act somehow broke some kind of psychological barrier. It was a miracle for me and something I would only do out of obedience. When I say, Franken-finger, I mean…ew!
Our Words Reveal a Lot
At this point in my story, a lady nearby, who’d been eavesdropping said, “WHAT?” I just repeated what I’d said, but I didn’t go into it any further. At the end of the day, this lady walked up to my painting and said, “You’re drawing well an ugly baby!” This completely shocked me to my core. I couldn’t even respond. Who says that? Even if I had two heads, who in their right mind says something like that? I know who – a monster and Satan!
Am I saying that this woman is Satan? No, but he is the one she is listening to. He is filling her mouth with his words, so somewhere in her life she has bent her knee to him. This was a curse straight out of the pit of hell. She was speaking Satan’s opinion of me, not her own. And through her words, Satan tipped his hand by revealing who she was, because I revealed who I am through my “God told me” comment.
A friend of mine in the class told this woman that she was completely inappropriate and wrong to say what she did to me. In response this woman ended up texting me and humbly apologizing for her rude comments and saying, “I don’t know where that came from!” I drove home that day smiling because Satan’s attack made the purpose of my painting just that much more meaningful. If he hates it enough to attack it, it must be truly important.
“You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this; you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
Matthew 12:34-37 NLT
Oh John – this is precious! What an awesome talent Father has given you. It’s not JUST a baby . . . you can get lost in this little face! With no words, this little you is saying so much — seeing only what tiny trusting ones can see. “Whoever becomes like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Thanks so much for sharing this blessing!
Thank you for enjoying it Pauline. This picture has always ministered to me. Do you remember the testimony of the young me (4 ish)? https://getalongwithgod.com/living-loved/lifes-corridor-a-testimony/
I remember the first part about the bus . . . I think you spoke about it at one of the conferences; the rest – no, but I do now — another gift! It seems that God has always had His hand on you.
You are blessed, John!
This so reminds me John of the story of David who just before running into battle with Goliath, there is the scene with his brothers. Who condemned him with their words, evaluation of him, when he wasn’t any of things they said of him. If David had accepted their scolding and gone home there would never had been a battle to win the day for the Lord and Israel. But He knew His Lord and knew enough to throw off his brothers words. How often I’ve gone to this story when I know other’s words aren’t right. So thank the… Read more »
Bless you Nancy, that is a wonderful way of seeing that. I just uploaded a picture of the portrait below for Andrea. Check it out. If I had let the enemy discourage me that day, I could have never finished this. But God won!
Yes John, God won the day with you and for you. Oh precious precious picture, so full of life. How could you not paint that expression of God’s gorgeous creation, you dear brother♡.
I so appreciate how God brings everything into His light, exposing all that needs to be exposed ….in the other but also exposing the shadows in our own heart by our response to what is exposed in another ….I am presently studying a book “The Sacrament of the Present Moment” causing me to slow down, ponder and look for God in each moment, the good, the bad and the ugly moments, and He was so very present in the moment those words were spoken to you ….thank you for sharing this wonder-filled story ……greetings from Canada …
I can’t get to far from that book. The Sacrament of the Present Moment truly calls us to enjoy Him in our every moments. I thank you for bringing it up, I think it is time for me to go back to it. And thank you for rejoicing with me over this encounter. Would you like to see the painting, it is almost done? Bless you Andrea!
it would be a deep privilege to see your painting … thank you!
oh my …….how beautiful ….you paint with brush with the same powerful tenderness you paint with words …..I am moved by the looking up with a questioning trust and a wide open face …….you have not changed ….how amazing …you are quite wonder-filled, John. Thank you for entrusting this painting to my eyes and my heart …
That is what the Father ministered to me…essentially I have a questioning trust and wide open gaze. You got it Andrea and this is why I wanted to paint it. Thank you for seeing and hearing with His heart about this painting and about me. ?
It had to be the enemy speaking through that woman. That baby is adorable and I agree with Andrea. What a wide open look gazing in wonder at his surroundings. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. It means a lot.
As I look at it, I see so much that He called me and chosen from before the foundation of the world. To me His choosing can be seen in my 11 month old face. I am so grateful to Him, He chooses us and we respond not vice versa. Love you Wanda!
We see what we are…?
Aaaaaaawe!!!! Babies are just so innocently sweet and simply lovable in essence!!!
Thank you John for everything you are sharing!!!!
Hey Sandy! As I have painted this portrait of 11 month old me, I have thought gosh I couldn’t get enough of that baby. This is the age where you eat their little feet, kiss their little cheeks and smell that beautiful little head. Yummy! Bless you!
No kidding!! And Baby John’s cheeks are tooooootally asking for it!! 🙂
i keep coming back to your portrait and the conversation : ) This time i noticed the Light that has captured your gaze. Gosh, John, you even pictured Him! And previous times as i looked, it’s like i heard the song, ‘Little ones to Him belong’ Michael thought it was wonderful too – said it looked just like you : ) May we all behold Him with an open face! (2 Cor 3:18)
This painting is so much more than I ever could have imagined. I praise God! He has so blessed me with it. Thank you LT!
What a beautiful painting John! You look just adorable! There is so much life in those eyes. I just can’t help as I’m looking at this now, I see the Father on the other side absolutely delighting in you and your gaze! No wonder the enemy hates us, he hates the Father. Didn’t he go after Jesus ever since he was a baby, nothing has changed… No matter how hard the enemy tries, we are ever secure in the awesome love of our Father!
The Father holds us for sure. Though we may not understand, He is perfect in His sovereign love. Thank you for seeing Him in this painting Marsela!
Thank You Father for all that is life. Thank You for the good, the bad, and the hurtful. Thank You for John and his willingness to be vulnerable. He has suffered for Your sake. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (Matthew 5:11 NIV). We praise You for John’s blessing. Thank You for this woman. How exciting to be able to pray for her…that this very particular incident will open the door for her to know more of You…for her to realize “where that came from”…and… Read more »
And thank you for Tammy, a true sister indeed! You are a joy Tammy and a blessing to us all. Love you and see you soon!