"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble them- selves; and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
When terrorists hit our country on September 11, 2001, I was very emotional as I watched the news and then the memorial services for all the ones that perished, as I am sure so many were. As I sat there watching, the camera focused on our then President, George W. Bush. He had tears streaming down his face. They were real and not put on for the cameras. That made an impact on me. I started to pray for him as I knew that he would have difficult decisions to make because of all that had happened. When we went to war, he was criticized but I continued to pray for him. I had read that he would get up really early and have his quiet time with the Lord. Though, I continued praying for him, I asked the Lord what could I do to encourage him. I wanted him to know that there were many praying and to continue to go to the Lord for guidance. The Lord laid on my heart to do a portrait of him. My first reaction to that was ..."You're kidding, right Lord?" I really hadn't done that many portraits...but it was so clear. I reminded Him that this would be going to the President of the United States. The Lord doesn't need reminding of anything...but if He lays something on my heart to do, I DO need to be obedient to His leading.
I started praying and seeking advice from the best Artist ever...my Heavenly Father. I was having my devotions one day and it "happened" to be on 2 Chronicles 7:14. As I read it, it was as if the Lord just opened my eyes to what He wanted. I was going to paint a picture but instead He laid on my heart to do a graphite drawing. I started to search for photos of President Bush praying, but I was specific...I needed to see that tear streaming down his cheek. I started to do composites of him and of his hands. I wanted to have it be a combination of different things in his life that drew him to be humble before the Lord. He had mentioned about his prayer life and quiet time with the Lord, so I wanted his hands on an open Bible. The passage the Lord laid on my heart to choose was 2 Chronicles 7:14. That was going to be the focal point of the picture. Yes, his profile with head bowed in prayer (with a tear going down his cheek) was in the center, but I wanted the hands folded on the opened Bible to that particular passage, to be the focal point. The twin towers are in the upper right hand corner as reminder to all of us of the terror we may face but yet the flag in the other corner reminds us that this country was founded under Biblical principles. I did send this to him in December of 2005.
A few months later, someone wanted me to market this picture, but I kept telling them that I didn't do it for that, but to encourage a brother in the Lord. They said that maybe it would encourage others to pray for him and our country, so I started to draw it again. When I do a piece of art for someone, I will pray for them as I work on the piece. It took me 22 hours each time I worked on these drawings, so I had the privilege to pray for our President for 44 hours. The second time I drew the picture, I added tears streaming off his hands onto the open Bible and also added tear stains on the pages of the Bible. The second picture now hangs in my classroom as a reminder to pray for our country and our leaders. It is a constant prayer of mine also, that I will always have a humble heart before my LORD.
Karen's Artistic Thoughts
I decided as I was working on this website, that a blog would be a way to explain what goes through my mind as I work on each piece the Lord has laid on my heart.