faithbook     A message for quiet meditation

by JAN FARROW, Lay Reader at Holy Epiphany



I wonder how many of you like pictures. You may recall I have a certain fondness for changing pictures around in the house according to seasons. At the time of writing this we are still in Winter, all my snow pictures are still on the wall!! I think it’s time for Spring to appear.

This picture was one given to me by a friend who does wood art and, I have placed it were I can sit quietly and look at it, day by day. The more you look the more you find; it begins with the birth of Jesus and ends with His resurrection. Joe Castillo – the artist - has his own story of love, forgiveness and restoration.

Joe enrolled in an art school. After his graduation he opened an adverting agency and did art on the side.  A friend saw his drawing of the face of Christ and offered to market it. He also said he didn’t think it would sell, but if it did he would give all the royalties to Joe. Joe was happy with this, believing his friend would do the right thing.  

The face of Christ did sell, and Joe never got a penny.

Joe felt very betrayed by his friend. He was angry at God and what he didn’t realize at the time was that his bitterness and anger was starting to affect all his relationships, including his own family. He could not forgive his friend.

Joe sought the Lord to help him as he struggled to forgive, and finally he let go and let God. At that point of forgiveness he was released.

One day while looking at his original drawing, Joe realised it was incomplete.

"The image was missing the fact that God is in the business of resurrecting things, bringing life out of death.  And so I went back and redid the drawing and this time I included the resurrection."

"The most important thing that I have learned is that God could take my gift, a gift that I really didn’t think had any value to Him, and He can use it in a very powerful way. What kept me from seeing that was the anger and bitterness that I was carrying in my heart. When I was willing to let that go and forgive somebody who hurt me, then I was able to see the value of my gift. I realised that if we take our story, our life story, and we put it into God’s story. His story then completes ours and we begin to understand the scope of our story."