This heart started as a response to the parable of the Sower and Mustard Seed parable that can be found in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In Matthew it proceeds the Parable of the Sower. In Mark, Jesus Calms the Storm is the next account in the chapter and in Luke Jesus follows the Mustard Seed parable with the parable of the Narrow Door. This artwork is a combination of response and growth. Although there is a chance that a sower artwork/animation as well as other works could make their own appearances in the future. They certainly exists as rough sketches.
Seeded Heart started off as a single artwork, but as I worked on it, another version of the heart began, and as I painted the second heart a third one came to life. This is Seeded Heart the first of three hearts.
When I first came to know God I was very little. I was then baptized at 21, but my faith was naïve, and looking back I am not sure what faith looked like to me at the time. I was more afraid of dying and going to H. E. double hockey sticks than understanding who Jesus was like, like I understand him now. I remember being asked the question as I was baptised, I remember a huge rock in my shoe that had slipped in as I walked into the Brimbank Park River and the rest seemed surreal. But it would be from the moment God saved me at 30 from the 9 year distraction in the occult that I didn’t know I was in until I was out, that Jesus would begin to come alive and to be real to me and in me. In those 9 years I was also sporadically attending church. But now, the watering of the seed that God had planted in my heart, when I am unsure, began to grow roots and spread. The seed that was planted, that the enemy was trying his hardest to leave a seed, life trapped in its hard shell, God had other plans for. The darkness was not going to win because God made a way. I would now begin to understand this as I applied action to my young faith.
I found myself thirsty, seeking to know more about God and Jesus and learn about the Holy Spirit, and finding ways to feed myself and to learn more. Sunday was not enough. I was now attending church each week, volunteered in the church Emergency Relief and the church Opportunity shop, attending an Alpha course, and was a regular visitor to Koorong and Word bookshops. I discovered a Christian radio station and a whole other level of music now added to the feeding I was desperate for. It was here that the roots started to grow deeper. I also started in a return to study course as I began working out my intellectual capabilities, and lacking confidence in any ability with all things academic.
There is hope planted in each one of us. This is the seed. We are designed to be more than what we believe we are capable of, or could even imagine. Some religions talk about past lives. I am quite happy with just one, thank you. As I take time to reflect over my life, and all the adventures and misadventures I have been on, I see new transformed and transforming versions of myself that a younger me couldn’t have imagined any version of an older me ever becoming. I look back at each new level of growth and reflect on who I was then and what the, then me, would think of who I am now. I am 100% certain that that person I was in my teens, in my 20’s and even in my 30’s could never imagine the person I am today being a possibility. I look back and see each stage of my life as if looking at a completely different life that I have grown out of, but I am who I am because I have gone through those growth spurts, and if you can remember that far back, growth spurts hurt, a lot. As C. S Lewis said “Experience: that most brutal of teacher. But you learn, my God do you learn.”
We need to learn, continue to learn, or for some of us, start to learn the techniques of learning. Of learning to ask questions and seek deeper understanding. The other side of that coin can often be consequence based learning, which can often taint our view of God as we blame him for all the things that go wrong in our lives. To feed ourselves, to reflect and critique ourselves, our lives, our actions and how we respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, so that we can grow deeper roots. Deeper roots of understanding and deeper roots of faith in action. This is the desire of my heart and I have so much still to learn.
How is your seed growth going? When was the last time you stopped and checked yourself? I’m pretty sure God didn’t want life to be as hard as we make it for ourselves when we navigate it without him. Don’t get me wrong, there is no promise of an easy life following Jesus, but you are promised to never do life alone.