There is a point to this blog entry. I say that because it is going to seem like I’m rambling at first. But I wanted to provide the whole back story so that I can highlight the specific way God showed me His kindness this week.
This is a stained glass window I made…JK! I’m not a blacksmith! I don’t know how to work with glass! (I accidentally put a knife through my finger last year while taking the pit out of an avocado so I have no intention of learning to work with shards of glass.)
Anyhoos- this picture I drew of a stained glass window was for a special event at our church this past weekend. Cornerstone in San Francisco was celebrating it’s 60th anniversary (also 25th anniversary for our head Pastor). Instead of 5 services over the weekend we had one big service at a venue in SF that would hold everybody. It was held at (drumroll…) the Warfield! Pretty neato.
During the service we would be taking communion together and that is what this “window” was created to compliment.
About a week before the service my buddy and our churches media-yoda, Rick Navarte, asked if I wanted to create artwork that would help folks reflect and focus on the practice of taking communion. He told me it would be shown on a large screen while Phil, our worship leader, sang “Holy Communion” by The Brilliance. Which is a seriously beautiful song, btw. He added “maybe a stained glass window motif” to the parameters.
Turns out communion is a tricky thing to draw.
As I listened to the song and thought of how to incorporate the stained glass idea, I began to appreciate how immensely sad it must have been for Jesus to break the bread and drink the wine. To look at his bewildered disciples. To endure the cross.
It’s all pretty intense. Jesus does something so simple and yet graphic to illustrate what is about to happen to himself. And He specifically asks us to to remember him in that way.
And that is why I went pretty literal with the images. I figured other people might be like me and have trouble seeing past the little cups of juice and the tiny cracker. So I went with images that helped me remember his sacrifice- his body, his blood, His hands breaking the bread, Jesus as the lamb, the empty cross.
So I created one long window that could be scrolled down as the song played. Each pane featuring some aspect that helps the viewer connect with why we take communion.
I wrote all of that just now to explain a little bit of the process. Mostly because it was in the process of making this that I really felt God’s pleasure. I enjoyed myself so thoroughly as I worked on this that I forgot to shower, skipped a meal and lost many hours just humming along as I cranked out each shard of glass.
By using the gifts he gave me for Him I felt Him working alongside me, smiling, enjoying Himself too.
And then watching the artwork scroll across the screen yesterday as everyone in our church sang their hearts out to God was just…surreal. I don’t know if I’ve ever created anything that was a part of a moment so tender.
I literally felt God put his arm around me and say, “I give good gifts, huh?”
Not like, this artwork is so great. I mean the good gift is enjoying the process of making the art. I was so blessed this week just working on this. Even if nobody ever saw it- it would have been a really sweet experience.
To have it used to bring over a thousand people into communion with Him was just… my cup runneth over.