Our church is observing Lent this year. It’s kind of a new thing for us. We’ve got a Facebook page where people are sharing their thoughts and experiences with fasting, reflection, and a season of drawing nearer to the Lord. And so, I have been searching out Lenten resources. I recently came across a real treasure in the book, “Bread and Wine”. It is a collection of writings from the “world’s best-loved spiritual writer’s” and it is quite profound. It is the kind of book to be savored, slow and long. And read often. I borrowed it from the library, but will definitely be purchasing a copy for my personal library. Pick up a copy. Trust me, it is a keeper.
Today, I am sharing the opening day writing from this book, and coupling it with another art giveaway. The poem is called, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”. FYI – “Gaol” is just the British word for jail, as in prison. Here’s the poem, and then I’ll give you my take on it:
The Ballad of Reading Gaol
…And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
And break the heart of stone.
And every human heart that breaks,
In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean leper’s house
With the scent of costliest nard.
Ah! happy those whose hearts can break
And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
And cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
May Lord Christ enter in?
I’ve read the poem several times, and I love it! What a beautiful way to say it is Christ’s love that liberates and heals the heart. Only those broken by the Lord’s kindness can see themselves in the bent woman pouring out her costly perfume over her Lord. A fragrant offering born out of Fragrant Love. Every heart is its own prisoner until it is freed by the Lord of Love. And this brings me to my art giveaway….
I love the hymn, “Crown Him with Many Crowns”. It is often a theme in my art. I love the words, “Crown Him the Lord of Love: Behold His hands and side – Rich wounds, yet visible above, In beauty glorified”. When I look at the Cross, I see my beautiful Jesus glorified. I see the Love that has both broken and healed my heart. “By His wounds we are healed”. I want to give this picture away to celebrate our Lord of Love, the Lord of Life, the Lord of all….
This is an original 10×10 mixed media artwork created by me. From one broken-healed heart to another. What I particularly love about this piece, other than the words of the hymn that I already mentioned, is the Cross looks wooden. This might be hard to see in the picture, but I used modeling paste to build it up and add texture. Then I painted over it and stained it with various mediums. Then I used Q-tips to wipe some away, creating ridges and highlights. Side note: Q-tips are the best artistic tool EVER. Love them! Use them for everything.
How do I win? Good question. Glad you asked. This giveaway is for FMD subscriber’s only. And since you are reading this, you most likely already subscribe to my blog. In that case, all you need to do to be entered to win is leave me a comment on this post. That’s it! I will randomly select the winner next Friday, March 28th.
PS. I so appreciate you. Thank you for reading my posts, and for your support and encouragement. I would love it if you would share this post to help me connect with other women through FMD. My ministry exists to encourage women in their faith journeys. To Take heART and Move Mountains! I call this “Bringing out treasures in the Kingdom of Heaven”. I treasure your support in helping me make new connections.
For NEW subscribers to FMD: To enter the art giveaway, subscribe to my blog in two easy steps. 1: Enter your email address on the right hand side of my home page. 2. Confirm your email subscription in your inbox to activate it. Voila! You will be entered in the drawing and receive future posts. Welcome to Faith Miner’s Daughter!