Being an artist, I am definitely a visual person. There are two things that make me stop and pay attention to the moment, rainbows and butterflies. God said, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”. He goes on to say in the book of Genesis, that when He sees it, He will remember. I believe I am made in His image and if God needs signs to remind
Him, then maybe I do too.
When my marriage of thirty years was ending, I found myself going through one of the most painful times of my life. Summer had come, my house was on the market and I would escape on the weekends to my sister’s place on Lake Winnisquam, my place of refuge. One of my side effects was terrible stomach aches. One morning while in pain, as I sat alone on the patio overlooking the lake, I prayed that my stomach would stop hurting. I felt something flutter by my face. Opening my eyes, I saw about ten butterflies flying around me. A peace came over me as I watched these gentle creatures. I put out my hand and one landed on my finger as if to say, “All is well“. It was then that I realized my pain had disappeared. I thought of the card my sister had recently sent me with these words by David Thoreau, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” How true those words have become for me. Now, every time I see a butterfly, I smile and remember happiness comes softly and when I am not even looking, there it is.
It was the middle of the night as I lay in bed praying about something that I was giving over to God and deciding not to worry about. No sooner had I prayed, I could hear my cell phone out in the other room sounding off that I had just received a text message. Curious, I jumped out of bed to see what was on my cell phone screen. I opened it to see a picture from my sweetheart, who was across the country on Lopez Island, WA – a quadruple rainbow! Not one, not two, not even three, but four rainbows in the clouds. I looked up to God and smiled and said “OK, I’ll let these worries go too!”
I love that God is so personal. He knows what speaks to me. I understand that my experiences might or might not speak to you and what speaks to you, your sign, might mean nothing to me or may be a healing gift. That is exactly how I view art. Art is personal to the viewer. What you love in a piece of art is unique to you and your taste. I create from this same place, knowing that what I create will speak to those who have the eyes to see what connects me to them in my painting.
God is personal with signs. Art is a personal sign. Life gives us personal signs. What is your sign?