A couple weeks ago, as some of you saw, I posted a picture on my instagram of a “self portrait” I painted that really didnt look like a self portrait at all. I vaguely described the desire to see people in color. I want to describe the weight that’s been attached to my heart over the past month with you all in detail, so that as I continue into this series of paintings, you understand the meaning behind it all.
About a month ago, I was sitting in my kitchen talking with one of my roommates about a rave festival, Mystery Land, taking place this summer. Having been a part of this scene, my roommate has such a heart to see people come face to face with Jesus. I have always admired the unconditional, relentless love she has for those in the dark. Through tears, and out of immense love, she spoke over their identity: “They are just so colorful.”
It was in that moment that the holy spirit gave me a vision, or day dream, or picture, whatever you want to call it. I was at the camp grounds, at this music festival, sitting outside of my tent with my easel, paints, and a canvas. When people walked by me, I asked to paint them. Reluctantly, they agreed. Instead of painting a realistic self portrait, I asked God about how He saw them. I asked God to show me the colors that He saw in their spirit. I asked Him for words over their identity and over their future. When I would show them the painting, I got to tell them the interpretation of the painting, and from that, share the love of Jesus. I became known as “the artist” at this festival, and people would come and ask me to paint them. It became a tool to manifest the love and hope of heaven.
It was after this vision that I knew I wanted the gift of seeing people in the color.
Fast forward 2-3 weeks: I came back to Fayetteville early to do a January term. I was alone in my house for 10 straight days. I knew I wanted to take some of that time to paint. When I prepared myself to paint, though, I felt Jesus lead me to the story in Mark 8:
27 Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”
29 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
I felt Jesus ask me: “Blake, who do you say I am? How do you see me?” And then, “How do you see yourself?” Wow, what a question. On this night, I knew there was work God wanted to do in me, and the way I see Him, before I could continue in this process of seeing others in color. In order to see others clearly, I have to see myself clearly. In order to see myself clearly, I have to see God clearly. Its a lot like love. I cant love others until I love myself. And I cant love myself until I know the love of God.
So, I started with myself. I made a list, in truth, of the way I see myself. The goods and the bads. About as real as it gets, people. And I painted.
To make the description simple (this post is already a lot longer than I expected):
The turquoise in the top right corner represents my creativity, and the dark blue my worship. Two boldly mounted colors because they are the two things I know I’m called to.
The white represents my uncertainty, the unknown, my doubt in myself.
Black represents the future. Dark, not in a sense of evil, but in a sense of wondering what path my life will take and how my gifts and callings play into that.
The red shows the sin of my past. The pieces of guilt that I’ve carried into the present, and the way I let it hinder my belief in myself for my future. It bleeds through the white, adding to the uncertainty. It weaves in my worship, as the number one thing guilt attacks: my calling and identity.
The delicate and detailed weaving of green show Gods hand in my life. The beauty and life, the ebb and flow of his spirit into every facet of the known and unknown, my fear and confidence, guilt, passions, and callings.
This has all lead me to do a series starting with
myself (done), The Father, Jesus, & the Holy Spirit, & myself again. From there, continue to paint people. I’m excited and expectant. I’d love for you to pray over this process, and for my ability to walk into this gifting of seeing the colors that God sees in people’s hearts and spirits.