Tickell Expressions

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Sunday's Art Reflection - Ministers of Reconciliation

Hello Friends,

A while back I discovered an old art journal - my first - and a few weeks ago I started sharing pages from it on a weekly post I call "Sunday's Art Reflection".

Today's reflection brings me to a difficult but also beautiful time. On February 24, 2009 my sister passed from this life into the next. I got to spend the last few hours with her.

Cathy had been battling cancer for quite some time. One day my niece's boyfriend called to tell us that she had taken a turn for the worst. I arranged a flight and set out almost immediately for Ontario. Because of geographical distance, I hadn't seen Cathy for several years. I was shocked to see the emaciated little woman who lay in the hospital bed.

But she obviously recognized me. Her eyes widened in pleased surprise. I asked if we could have one of our old-time non-sleeping sleepovers and she smiled - she actually smiled - and said "yes". My niece said it was the first word she had uttered in days.

My niece and nephews left the hospital for some much-needed respite and I settled in to spend the night with my dear sister.

At one point I said, "I know you have been mad at Jesus for a long time Cathy, but he wants you to know that he loves you and he forgives you." Tears flowed from her eyes as she nodded.

I sang "Amazing Grace" and she tried to sing along, tears streaming down her face. Peace smoothed the furrows in her face and soon she slept. Within a few short hours she slipped peacefully away.

2 Corinthians 5 states that we are ministers of reconciliation. Christ Jesus came to show us the love of the Father, to offer himself as the final sacrifice for all the sins of the world, rose from the dead and was seen by more than 500 people, ascended to the Father in Heaven, and sent his Holy Spirit to remain on the earth until he returns, all for one ultimate purpose -- to reconcile his children, his most  precious creation unto himself. The bible (2 Peter 3:9) says that he is not willing that anyone should perish but that everyone would come to know him.

It was difficult to see my dear sister suffering and dying from a terrible disease, but it was a joy to reconcile her to God and to see peace overtake the fear that had ravaged her face. I know I will see her again and we will have an eternity of non-sleeping sleepovers.

I drew this picture on the plane and while in Ontario, using Prisma colour pencils. I added acrylic paint later at home. This page was separate from my art journal, but since it was around the same time period, I wanted to add it in.
 I cut around the portrait...
...created a background in my journal, and pasted it in. Then I added my wording around the image --  including Psalm 34:18. "The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." and the date of my sister's death at the bottom.
Going through my old art pages was sometimes difficult, but very healing. Thank you for sharing this intimate moment in my life with me.

Are you living far from God as my sister was for many years, are you living closely to him, or are you somewhere in between. No matter where you are at in your faith journey, no matter what you have or have not done, Father God wants you to know that you are beautiful and you are loved.

Blessing hugs,


DebR said...

Oh wow...this is so beautiful and incredible! Brought tears to my eyes reading this Teresa.
So thankful your sister is with the Lord and you will see her again.

Little Birdie Blessings said...

I'm so sorry about your sister's passing. I'm sure you're thankful for those last few precious moments you were able to spend with her. The Lord brought you to her just when she needed to see you. You gave her the gift of peace before she passed. ~ Abby

Terry JP Arsenault said...

Teresa my love, I've heard you tell this story a few times, but this time your words touched my heart like never before. So thrilled that you are my wife and I get to share this journey with you. God Bless