Curtains hang in our homes. They are used to keep the light out, the heat in and to provide privacy. We even use them in the place of walls. We can also use them like walls in our lives to protect us from hurt, to separate others from parts of us that we can’t imagine anyone ever seeing, or they become like walls in our life that we hide behind from the hidden things we can’t face. We hide from ourselves.
Separation might be the result of breakdowns of relationships or friendships. The separation between loved ones through complications or a combination of issues, distance or death. The difficulty of connection with others because of our past or present circumstances or even personal traits. Separation comes in many forms. It can come with little to tremendous levels of pain and sometimes restoration isn’t always possible. ‘Curtain’ illustrates those things that can be the cause of separation from ourselves, others and God.
The preliminary sketch/watercolour for this painting had the curtain covered in words that are the tools the enemy uses to separate us from others, from ourselves, from God and His truth. Words such as: complicated; shattered; arrogant; disappointing; weird; lost; inadequate; unloved; unaccepted; useless; angry; tormented; worthless; afraid and hopeless. It could have included words such as lustful, greedy, rude, ignorant, ungodly, hurtful, bitter, spiteful. I am sure the list is inexhaustible. The hand moving the word covered curtain to one side is allowing light into the darkness that feeds the lies to keep us hidden. In moving the curtain aside, we are choosing not to be held in this darkness any longer.
When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple that separated us from God was torn from top to bottom. It removed the restrictions to God and restored our relationship with God and gave back a personal connection to God that had been lost since the Garden of Eden. I wonder why we continue to cover ourselves in things that separate us from a clearer picture of God and the clearer picture we have of ourselves through learning to see God’s perspective. I can only imagine that as we listen and connect deeper with God and how He really sees us, values us and all people, instead of our focus on our brokenness, and that of other imperfect people, we will find peace instead of the bitterness that perpetuates the distortion and continues to bring destruction.
What matters most is that we are not left in separation from God. He restores, strengthens, builds up and transforms and does it all in-spite of all the word filled coverings the enemy constantly manifests in our lives to attempt to separate us from God and in turn, from others.
What would happen if we made more of an effort to armour ourselves against the lies instead of listening to and believing the lies spoken over us? How would that transform our relationship with God? How would it transform our relationships with everyone else? Those who are on the journey and those who are yet to start?
‘curtain’ is an illustration of the desire of my heart. To make it a focus to let God’s light shine into the darkest places so that I can see what’s hidden and see God’s healing. The alternative isn’t going to end well and my biggest fear is that my brokenness would bring hurt or separation from God for someone else.