This was a sculpture I created at my second invitation to create art during worship at Firestarters Fellowship. I got the set list of the songs they would be playing for worship a few days prior to, and I spent my free time leading up to the serviced just marinating in the lyrics and listening for what God would say to me. The songs all had a common thread of chains being broken, and being set free. This is the image that came to me.
I get two services to make art. I'm a sculptor and they understand that in order to create a finished product, I start during the first service...bring it home during the week to work on it...and then finish up during the last service. It's kind of like speed sculpting! But, it works!
After the first service, a little boy named Will came up to me, took my hand and led me to the front table where my sculpture was standing. Raw and rugged looking, just newspapter wrapped in tape but positioned in the same gesture and holding chain. Will asks, "what is thaaaaat?" pointing at my art. "Well, what do you see?" I ask him in response. "I see Jesus on the cross..." So, I was like, "ooooooookay. What else do you see?" I tried to coax him closer to the intended purpose of my artwork.
We looked closely at the chain, and the hands holding it...I pointed out area of the chain that was broken and then we were called back to our seats for the remainder of the service.
The magnitude of his statement didn't hit me until I ran our conversation through my head as I looked up front trying to figure out how in the world he saw Jesus on the cross. When I think of Jesus on the cross I think of outstretched arms, and an aching, exhausted body draped on a cross. "I see Jesus on the cross." I heard his little voice in my head again and it hit me! It blew me AWAY!
Anytime you see someone who has been weighed down with the heavy burden of chains (whatever that might symbolize to you) and then tap into the power, and intentionality to break them off, it is BECAUSE JESUS WAS ON THE CROSS. Jesus wore our sin and our shame on the cross and gave us power in His name to break every chain! Now when I look at this sculpture I too see Jesus on the cross! That perspective. Rocked my world!
The other crazy part of this sculpture was that once I finished it I COULD NOT STOP CRYING! Even now, getting all teary eyed. Something about it just pierces my heart. I think part of it is that WE HAVE THE POWER TO BREAK EVERY CHAIN and we do...but we carry the broken chain with us. We don't follow through with the freedom to drop the broken chains on the ground and WALK AWAY from them forever. No. We break them and for comfort sake go back to them and carry them with us as though it is still ours to bear. I don't know if that speaks to anyone. It certainly speaks to me.
Also, that bright area in the chest...that was a last minute decision. I wanted there to appear to be a burst or eruption in the vicinity of the heart as the chain was being broken off. As it turns out, I only packed with me dull charcoaly colors for the body (which appeared to be dark like soot) and chain...so I went to my artsy friend, who was sitting in the audience and just the week before had a truck full of all sorts of paint and art supplies...she did not have any paint this week. BUMMER. She asked why and I quickly explained. In all her brilliance she said, "What about something else...like lipstick or eyeshadow...?" WOW!! That saved the day! I ran out to my van and got some red lip stain and some sparkly gold eyeshadow. In hindsight, I think it is so very interesting that I used things that cover the mouth and the eyes. Sanctify. So telling of true heart change. Change what you look to and what you speak.
I know, I know. I can really get carried away with the depths of symbolism. What can I say?God wired me and it's how I connect to my mighty Creator! Talk to Him about it!