I must have been seven or less when drawing became my thing. I fondly remember myself once literally prostrating before a full-length mirror with a pencil and a little sketch pad/jotter in hand while I made a sketch of my reflection off the mirror. This must have lasted a while as I repeatedly had to raise and lower my head to view the face in the mirror and pencil a copy on the pad. But I was patient, enough to see its completion, on which I was told it looked more like Victor than myself. Victor’s my elder brother and I looked a lot like him – I still do.
Fast forward more than a dozen years and I still draw. Despite not being an integral part of my formal education, drawing refused to let go of me. I must say I haven’t been totally committed to it over the years, at least not until recent months when I’ve been drawing not just out of interest in the art but of my regard of the Parable of the Talents (you know this?)
So, I’ve been making a few drawings of late and I never considered blogging about any, never found a reason to. I just shared images of them on some social media, or stored them up, as I intended doing with the featured artwork. It (the featured) bore no meaning when I began working on it: I solely drew with the intention of making the right debut with my coloured pencils (which I must have succeeded in doing). I even had to consult the One in Whose hands we are pencils, before using my pencils…I had to find out how He does His thing you know…You do such uncommon things when you’ve got uncommon desires/goals. I somewhat took enough care as to prevent wrong use of a colour/shade. And as I added colour after colour, the colours gave meaning to themselves, a meaning which seemed satisfactory to me at the time, till God thought to wow me with His interpretation of the drawing, and He chose to reveal this through Temi. Temi saw a part of the artwork some days back and I’ll just go right ahead and replicate the conversation we had over it rather than tell you about it:
(This is say a 95% rendering of the original conversation)
“You’re welcome. Do you mind giving its interpretation?” (I never expected such request)
“Uhm, you know, that’s the best thing I’ve heard. My friends who saw this said it was beautiful and that they liked/loved it (these encouraged me). But you just said the best thing, so I’ll tell you.”
“There are two main parts: the yellow, red part; and the cyan, blue part. The first set of colours signify heat with the second set signifying cold. The drawing is more of a question: “would you go for little cold/cool in a hot situation or little heat/warmth in a cold situation…the red frame signifies a bit of heat while the blue’s a bit of cold.”
“Wow” Temi enthused. “That’s beautiful. I do hope I’m not being too inquisitive. What inspired this?”
“Uhm, allow me recollect”
“Ok. I just showed this to my twin and she loves it. We both chose the right side, which implies a bit of heat in a cold situation. We tried applying it to our spiritual lives and then decided we would love the left side but we’ll have to take off the pair of glasses so it’d be all heat and no cold.”
I sent her a thumbs-up emoticon for that, “You just gave me a better interpretation.”
“Ok. You know, when I first saw the drawing, I thought it was about that place in the Revelations.”
“That spoke about being neither hot nor cold.” (That’s in Revelations 3:16)
…In the end I could speak only of how blessed I was by her interpretation, while she said: “Your drawing has spoken to me more than words could have.” That was a moment, and I believe that must have been the purpose of the drawing all along: to reach out and touch people with pencils and paper, sending across a message to a soul.
This write up would be incomplete if I failed to tell you of the two lessons I got from the above conversation, which lessons I believe would aid your man with God relationship. First, I’ll tell you a bit about the sixteenth verse of the third chapter of the book of Revelations.
“So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth”
This portion of the scriptures was directly addressed to the church in Laodicea and indirectly addressed to every believer (since all things written were so written to serve as an example for us). The Laodicean Church was an early Christian Community. It bore the trademark of early churches: an apostle gets into a city, evangelizes, gets the converts together in constant fellowship, and a church is born. The apostle leaves on further assignment, and doesn’t fail to send insightful letters. One can conclude on this note that the Laodicean Church was one faithful to her Master at its inception. Unfortunately, Christ’s message to the church at the time wasn’t one of encouragement but one of reprove because the church had lost sight of its calling. His message was simple and detailed:
“I (the true and faithful Witness) know your works that you’re not cold, neither are you hot, but lukewarm, for which reason I will spue you from my mouth”
He was sick and ready to spit them out (a feeling peculiar to lukewarm water sometimes used in inciting vomiting). He was irritated by their spiritual state – of coma (they weren’t dead and yet weren’t alive) – the cause of which was described in subsequent verses (17 and 18) which I think best we consider so we don’t find ourselves at variance with God as they were. They thought more of themselves than they were. To them they’d attained some spiritual height: rich they were, increased in gold, had need of nothing; they’d gotten it all. Christ, on the other hand, saw them as being wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Those were tough words, but they well described how He felt about them. They remind me of two sets of people in the bible who bore such traits: the Pharisees and the devil; the actions of both both sets of people brought forth similar reaction in Christ. The Pharisees’ during Christ earthly ministry as was seen in His reaction towards their conceited attitude, and the devil’s (Lucifer) at the point of losing his angelhood. They all shared this attribute of Self: Self-conceitedness, Self-righteousness, Self-delusion: repelling God in all.
Yet, in God’s willingness and readiness to cast them off was observed a commensurate willingness and readiness to take them back to Himself as He advised: “BUY of me gold, tried in the fire, that you may be rich; BUY WHITE raiment to cover your nakedness and anoint your eyes so you may see” (blindness was a function of self-righteousness as Christ also noted with the Pharisees). His rebuke bore His love. A part of verse 19 states: “as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…”
Some I believe will be taken back by Christ’s request that the Laodiceans BUY gold of Him. Wasn’t Salvation meant to be free? Not really. We always have to play a part in our salvation. That part is in COMING, with our NOTHINGNESS in exchange for the ABUNDANCE of His GRACE. This is evident in Isaiah 55:1 which states: “Come he that has no money and BUY and eat, BUY wine and milk without money and price”. In earnest He asks you to COME and in so doing give up every worthless thing you’ve got: your spiritual lack of worth, self-righteousness etc. and receive gold, clothes, food etc. “I’ve paid the price but you’ve got to come get the gift”, He says. It’s evident Christ did not send the Laodiceans to GO buy gold, but to COME buy from Him which posits Him as the one Source of Redemption of mankind. He says to all today as He said to the Laodiceans: “give your want, give up your sins, take my fullness, take up my righteousness.”
Concluding on Rev 3:16; for the Hot, the abiding Christian, make sure to do your little to keep receiving His grace/strength/heat to continue. For the cold, the unconverted one, take comfort in His unreadiness to reject you, but do not abuse the day of grace. “When cold matter enters one’s body it is expected to get hot from the body’s heat”. Hence God expects you to get hot as He attempts to draw near and work on you. Christ ‘hung out’ a lot with unbelievers during His earthly ministry. Therefore, go to Christ accepting your non-hot state and He’ll make you hot enough at Salvation. For the lukewarm, who seems to be in a valley of confusion, delusion, hence indecision, it’s best you give up self and a lack of zeal for your Creator as evidenced in the Laodiceans (verse 19) and join Him on the journey to Glory Land. Life’s a lot easier when it’s none of self and all of Christ. Believe me, the devil only makes it seem opposite.
This write up stemmed from a drawing, branched of at a conversation, then two lessons, the second of which will be summarized in a sentence:
“Obedience teaches you in a moment what understanding does in a lifetime”
I obeyed this not-well-defined instruction to get this work done without making much of a concerted effort at understanding what the picture meant, and it took me minutes to get its interpretation. Some effort towards understanding would definitely have taken longer and still left me unsure. Today, Obey.
“To obey is better than Sacrifice” II Samuel 15:22