“By His stripes we are healed”
This weekend, I had an inspirational idea to use paint in a shoot and like a child to not fear getting messy. At first it didn’t look like I hoped it to. We started with painting stripes on my face. As I looked at my reflection I was in awe of the truth that “by His stripes we are healed”. As a result we get to be warriors standing in the truth of God’s victory and grace. It is not due to anything we have done, but solely due to His radical love for us. This truth captivated me from the start.
A few more stripes were added to my face. We were painting spontaneously, so my cheeks became a canvas for our limitless creativity. I then helped paint my own face. I began to add more colours and a design that almost matched the print of the scarf we were photographing too.
My friend who was photographing, picked out a scarf from my collection. She randomly picked out one that is called “Freedom in the Father’s Embrace”. This was wild to me because without her knowing, only a few days before I had had a really significant encounter that involved me realising the freedom in the Father’s embrace. This moment really touched me as I knew that this moment was God’s gift to me, showing me that He was present and wanted to illustrate to me visually this truth I was in the process of experiencing fully.
Wrapped up in the scarf, I was amazed by the fact that my face so perfectly matched the design on the scarf. This was a beautiful metaphor to me of the fact that in God’s embrace we become like Him. Overshadowed by His wings of perfection, protection and grace, we can be camouflaged in His beauty and wonder. There is a power found in the weakness of our humanity. A power that can only be found as we rest in the embrace of the One who knows us best, who designed us and who created us with His love in mind. We are made for His embrace and made to encounter His Father’s heart in a whole new capacity as we bring down our walls of self protection and allow His love to rectify the broken places and seep into the cracked places. His eagle wings allow our hearts to soar to new heights, experience new depths and grasp the width of His strength.
A Father is a fundamental part of our lives. Cultivated to create a space of safety and home, a father’s heart allows his children to know their sense of belonging and purpose. A father brings provision, protection and purpose to the family as a whole. When our earthly father’s don’t reach our level of need, this can cause deep pain and need for something more, as a result we can turn to other places to get our needs met. However at the moment I am on a journey of realising the power of my Heavenly Father’s presence, His deep love, wild provision and safe touch that wants to embrace me with His radical presence of love.
Pure love can calm the hardest heart.
When we fully understand the depth of His heart and safety of His presence, rest is possible. Dreams, silence and rest provide love letters from our Father to us. He speaks into our souls amongst the rush of the world. His whisper is elevated in our hearts as our bodies find rest in His presence. In this moment on the shoot I could tangibly feel His presence upon me. I felt my whole body could rest.
Finally getting into the water felt like a profound moment of renewal, refreshment and cleansing. From the presence of His wings, to the reflection of the water, it was a profound visual for what happens when we re-centre and find our true reflection in the Father’s eyes. From that place our true sense of joy can be restored and our identity can be rediscovered and lived out.
Hide here, in the Father’s free embrace.
Resting in the shadow of His beautiful grace.
Trusting His wings to bring comfort and peace.
Colours of His love that shower over me.
Like eagle wings with such a wide span.
I am fully covered by my Father’s hand.
Nothing can get to me, I am safe here with Him.
Fully surrounded, embraced from within.
There in the silence He covers my face.
Colour upon colour, leaving no trace.
Beautifully crafted by the Master’s love.
Strength in my weakness, hearing whispers from above.
There in the water, refreshed to my core.
Trusting now that there is so much more.
Not settling for disconnection, or a hard heart.
But remaining childlike, breaking the boxes of what is ‘art’!
Photographer – Ida Emilie Nyjordet