I want to try to describe the Friday night session, because I've never experienced anything like it. My friend Carol Davis gave an amazing message about the woman with "issues" from Luke 8. I've been hearing little pieces of this message for months in our conversations, but the thoughts that God has been giving Carol as she studied and lived out this message were truly remarkable.
At the end she expounded on this verse, "Then he [Jesus] said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.'" (Luke 8:48) Jesus knew that the woman's physical healing was only a part of what she needed. She needed peace, and she needed a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. He didn't just heal her. He made her whole.
As Carol finished, a woman named Betty Shoopman stood. She stood in front of a canvas in which she had already painted the ocean in beautiful colors of yellow, orange, and blue. Suddenly she began painting over the original painting.
I can't begin to describe the transformation, but she added these words one at a time.
And then she joined them all together with the word "Redeemer".
That's when the floodgates opened. God began speaking to me about a place in my own heart that needed wholeness.
When the painting of Jesus on the cross was finished, Carol asked all of us to come dip our hand in paint and touch the hem of Jesus' garment. Then we stood while Luann or Ramona washed our hand and tenderly dried it with a towel.
It was that rare combination of words, visual and tactile that broke right through to the recesses of my heart.
The painting at the top of the post is the one that Betty did for us. It's a visual of God's grace that will stay with me forever.