Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)
One time at a Bible study, a preacher told the story of a little girl, and her favorite strand of pearls. Here’s a version of that story:
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere–Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?”
“Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls.”
“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny’s daddy asked again, “Do you love me?”
“Daddy, you know I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Oh Daddy, not my pearls.”
“That’s okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. “What is it, Jenny? What’s the matter?”
Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And, when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, “Here, Daddy. It’s for you.”
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of beautiful genuine pearls. He had had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.
Question- what imitations are we holding onto that stops us from receiving God’s genuine treasures?
-Author Unknown Adapted from here.
The story has always stuck with me, and of course there are moments when we all are like that little girl, holding on to some cheap, ratty imitation, afraid of letting go to the only thing we have. Moments that God want’s us to give up the object of our worship to him. These are times when we need to step out in faith with God. Times where we have to trust Him, even when it doesn’t seem like He is there to help us. I wanted to capture that in a piece. The feeling of letting go. Letting go of something that is not really worth it, and gaining so much more.
As with all things in life there is a beginning. And sometimes the beginning isn’t pretty. Like the above piece. For the most part I worked out the girl hanging on the rock and the background was simple. For this piece there wasn’t much of a transformation from beginning to end. Some of my works go through a lot of mutating a long the way, and some I hit the nail on the head right away. Of course this was the first step, the rough idea of what I was looking for. For the final piece I just changed the background and added two more women to make it more visually appealing.
I wanted to capture a moment where someone is hanging from their only place of safety. A place that ultimately is not safe. She could be getting ready to take that leap of faith, or she could be trying to get back. Sometimes our comfort zones are small and confined (floating rocks/cliffs), and are really just self made prisons. They are set up to protect us and keep others out ( the thorns.) In this instance, she is not really far from the ground and leap isn’t a big one to make. But look at what she gains if she leaves. To us the jump can look so far away, while to God is just under our feet.
With the other women I decided to have one that had broke free and was praising God, and one that is remaining locked in her prison. Overall I think it makes a nice piece for May, a time of transition. When Summer is so near, and Winter seems so far. When the Earth is in bloom.