Being Found by Beth West (8.5" x 11" print)
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8.5" x 11" print (watermark in store image does not appear on print)
Artist Writeup by Beth West
In the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus describes a shepherd who leaves his flock behind in order to find a single sheep who is missing (Mt 18:12-14). This is a metaphor for Christ himself, who actively searches for each and every person in the world. The experience of being found by him — found by love in pain, found by light in darkness — is powerful. It is unique, personal, and potent. It is the beginning of healing. This work of art is an image of that moment.
The one being found is the girl in the bottom right corner of the painting. She is a human person at her very lowest. Dark bonds, which are the lies of the enemy, chain her down. They hold her in pain, in anxiety and in self-loathing. She is confused and suffering greatly. Notice the way she is curled into herself, and the way that she holds her head. My intention is for this posture to communicate that she is tortured voices in her mind. She can’t see or understand what is keeping her trapped. All she sees is pain. She sees no way out. She doesn’t even see the light that has just begun to touch her…
The figure may not know she is being pursued, but indeed she is. Christ has descended into this dark cave to find this person who he loves. There is nothing in view other than the walls of the cave, which is intentional. I want this to feel like a deep and dark place. Christ has traveled a long way to get here. He has searched tirelessly. He has entered into the fullness of this cave’s coldness, dirt and pain in order to find one broken person. He must descend still further, as there is distance remaining between the two of them. With such love, with such tenderness, and without any hesitation, he will.
This is the character of Christ. Think of the woman at the well or the woman caught in adultery (Jn 4:7-29, 8:1-11). Christ sees people exactly where they are, and comes to meet them in that place. This does not require any action on the part of humanity. It is simply the initiative of God, who cannot leave his people in suffering. This is his love. Truly, he will find us. He will light up every darkness!