Friday, June 10, 2011

Panel Giveaway Update

Well, if you read my last post, you know what's been going on in my spiritual life and my artistic life. The two have been intermingled of late, and it's been interesting, to say the least.
I wish I could adequately describe the spiritual warfare I experienced while painting those scenes of Christ. I knew I was doing something right; someone didn't want me to finish them. But I had heavy-duty Reinforcements! So, I just kept painting, and He took care of the rest. Christ being baptized, healing, teaching, holding a child, several close-ups of his face, all different...and his face during the crucifixion was accompanied by my tears. The final painting of his glorious return was difficult. How could I know what that would look like? How could mere paint depict that glorious event on a little 5x7" panel? I wrestled. I worried. Over and over, I heard, "You just keep painting. I'll take care of the rest."
I was told not to discuss them with people in advance, other than posting here on my blog and discussing it with a prayer partner. I was also told not to photograph the completed works, nor was I to sign them. They were to glorify Him, not me. I had to push aside my pride and possession of talent. I would be rewarded later.

The first Community Outreach was on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 6pm on a hot sunny South Carolina evening. Our daily temps have been in the 90's and the sun isn't setting until after eight pm in the evening, so I'll let you use your imagination about the setting in the little community.
Several church members came together with a huge grill, free hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the fixins. There was a variety of chips offered with cold bottled water. Free face-painting and balloons entertained the kids. And there I was...with nineteen 5x7" panels of oil paintings on a table with a sign that read "Free - Take One".
What on earth was I thinking? Would I need to tell people that God had simply told me to do this? They would think I was insane. I wiped sweat from my eyes, ignored the wet hair matted to the back of my neck, and stayed the course.
I kept stepping away from the table to talk to others painting faces and serving food.
As time passed, I noticed there were empty spots on the table. Everyone who chose a panel would approach quietly to thoughtfully select one.
It was...reverence.
I didn't have to explain; they knew.
Occasionally, a child would shyly approach and I would ask,"Would you like a painting?" They would smile and nod, pick out their favorite and I'd wrap it in waxed paper for them.
One woman repeatedly thanked me, and even after saying good-bye and pulling away, she stopped to get my attention from her car window with one more expression of gratitude. After thinking about the event, I now notice the contrasts. If I'd been in a gallery opening, there would have been negative comments, empty compliments, or questions. Maybe one would have sold. And what would I have gained?
And who knows what will happen with those little paintings? I pray they will not become idols, but passed on to others as simple inspiration.
I purchased more little panels to prepare for the next outing in a different location. Please pray for all concerned.
Love & Laughter,
DJ

17 comments:

Lotus said...

I was literally choked up reading this post Deej! I am at a loss for words, but wow!
God bless you my friend! You're so awesome... For His glory!!! ; )
Lotus

DJ said...

Lotus, You are so special to me! I have your latest carved print displayed on my fridge, so that I think of you every day.
Big Hugs,
Deej

Say It In Color said...

Oh DJ....what can I say?....I am speechless at the wonder of His workings!! I love you, love you for being so obedient to follow His instructions....and really trusting Him.... what a beautiful illustration of a teaching moment for so many....NOW...I must tell you....you MUST BE THE PUZZLE PIECE I am waiting for....a long story....of our latest thinking on downsizing, maybe even moving someday, no business or store to care for....and my thought..."Where in the world would I "sell" my art? What would I do with it?...then the thought came to me....from Him....give it away!" That was two weeks ago....And now reading this is confirmation that He has plans....real plans....for His Glory....when?...where?....I don't know but your story, trust and event as really blown me away and touched my heart....YOU are a treasure for us and especially His treasure....BIG HUGS....tell us more....

Say It In Color said...

Every time I woke up last night, I lay awake thinking of your incredible story and God ordained event...just so very wonderful and an event "only HE" could organize ....and the part that is strong is YOU ....submitting to His will...listening to HIS voice....only HE COULD ORCHESTRATE SOMETHING SO WONDERFUL AND SO PROFOUND! The concept of GIVING your art away is not a normal concept...but He is not just normal....He is beyond our thinking....way beyond....that is why we have to listen and submit.... two words that I am NOT good at.... this was such a beautiful thing that happened and I can't get it out of my mind....thank you for sharing what you have shared with us....thank you for stretching our minds and hearts!! Sorry for two posts...but this was profoundly wonderful.

DJ said...

Sherry, No need to apologize for affirming His influence, my friend!I'm touched by your response, and pray that God will use you in a mighty way to impact others. I consider you a sister in Christ, and love you dearly.
Love & Laughter,
DJ

Mary Hicks said...

This is a beautiful story, DJ. I am so proud of you, and even prouder to call you friend.

You are blessed!

Love, Mary

DJ said...

Mary, Thank you for your friendship and encouragement over these last years. You've meant so much to me. God has big plans for your future, girlfriend! Can't wait to see what happens next...
Love & Laughter,
Deej

Dan said...

DJ this was such a brave act, the painting itself, then following through and presenting them publicly for people to take.

Very inspiring for any artist, your hero status in my eyes has just gone another notch or three!

Dan

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Oh DJ, I teared up reading how God is using you and speaking to you while you obey what he is asking. Wow! He is going to do wonderful things in the lives of those who pick up one of your paintings. Through your generous heart with your gifted talent that God placed inside of you before you were born, God is being glorified and your paintings will live on in the lives of those who cannot believe they were chosen to receive this special gift that they know is directly from HIM.

♥♥♥Lee Ann

Meandering Artist said...

DJ! All those paintings went where they were supposed to- I feel they will even create a rippling pay it forward...or pray it forward.
Where is the next one? I think I will hitch hike on down to your neck of the woods :-)
Banana kisses always!
Jules

Michelle McSpadden said...

This is an awesome endeavor that God has you doing. Please continue to keep us posted. : )

the domestic fringe said...

Wow! It's so beautiful how you're using your talent for the Lord. I love you were sensitive to the Spirit's leading and how he brought those who needed your paintings. I think you're going to have lots of people lining up in heaven, waiting to tell you what your painting meant to them. You're doing a wonderful thing.
Blessings,
FringeGirl

Junebug56 said...

DJ,
It amazes me how the Creator reaches us. He has used me on two occasions to give printed prayer cards with beautiful inspiring messages to perfect strangers whom I met. On both occasions, I got that little prompt to take the cards with me when I went out, something I would normally not do.On both occasions I talked with a woman I'd just met who was going through a really rough time, and on both occasions I felt prompted to give her a little card. Both ladies teared up and hugged my neck, saying this was just what they needed to see. I know it wasn't me who thought to do that.
and reading your post, I just got an idea. Would you like some words to go with your paintings? I am more of a writer that a visual artist, and I would love to help with your mission. I don't know exactly what I could add, but somehow I think it will come to me.Simple tiny poems about love coming from God. Not trying to horn in, but if you think I could add anything to your already beautiful mission - I'd love to. One of the teenaged girls at the Methodist Children's Home put the words of the 23rd Psalm into modern English, and her friend had painted an abstract painting. They put the words in white over the painting and it is so beautiful and inspiring. Something like that.I love the idea of giving hope to children.
Let me know.
You are awesome!
Becca

valonia said...

Wow! What an amazing post to come back onto Blogger to read.

You're such an amazing and inspirational person and I'm so glad it worked out how it was supposed to.

xxx Valonia

Patrina's Pencil said...

DJ, I read this before but didn't have time to comment. I love how you were so 'in touch' with these gifts you offered to Him.

The GIVER of life used his gift in you to give life to all those souls. May God's blessings surround them and bring them His PEACE.

Keep painting. Makes me wish I were painting again :)

blessings
Patrina <")>><

Mary said...

precious lady...i thought i had commented on this, i know i read it.
sometimes i don't have the words to write and i come back.

God brought you to mind this morning, and in checking in i see i did not.

oh how i wish you had photos of these, though i understand why you did not.

i pray that each time they glimpse their precious gift from you they are reminded of the amazing God behind your giving.

are you working on more??

how are you??

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

AMAZING! A truly gifted soul with a big heart to give away works to inspire others. Hopefully I have done something similar this year by donating works for charity auctions and have been delighted at the money raised. My only regret is that we have not been allowed to see your spiritually inspired pieces. I love working in this way too and must settle down to a quiet time to simply be led. Thanks for sharing your story.