"Make Known In The Morning," a 16 x 40" commissioned work, now has pride of place in the client's master bath. You know your art is beloved when it's not just for showing off, it's for bringing joy to everyday moments. Art where you brush your teeth? Nothing finer.
The brief was to create a piece this size favoring a warm autumn palette and the theme of spiritual strength that comes from trusting God. I started with cool undertones, building layer upon layer of texture with brushes, stamping, hand prints, and pieces of "palette trash." Brilliant gold Fall foliage was a guiding image, as was hands-the-air-shout-for-joy movement. Gold foil, but of course.
Working on a piece for a specific person gives you time to think about them, pray for them, imagine how the piece will bring pleasure. This wonderful client loves God, makes him the center of life, and trusts God boldly in any circumstance. The title is drawn from Psalm 143 which includes beautiful language about trusting God in the worst of times.
King David wrote Psalm 143 when on the run for his life. He was hiding, waiting, frustrated. He expresses his discouragement in verse 4, "my spirit faints within me". There are times when our spirits faint even without armed soldiers stalking us. We can be crushed by broken relationships, life struggles, diagnoses, dreams that seem like they will never be realized. David doesn't wallow; he turns to the Lord. "I meditate on all you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like parched land" (v 5, 6). Focusing on God instead of the problem changes everything. David knows God is more than able to rescue him because of what God has already done-- creating the universe, freeing the slaves from Egypt, blessing himself in the defeat of Goliath-- to name a few.
The part of this Psalm that makes my heart sing is how David expresses his trust in verse 8: "Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." The title "Make Known In The Morning" refers to God making known his unfailing love to us, making known his direction for our lives, and that when we lift up our souls to him we are making known our trust and praise. All this I pray for the client.