“TIPPING POINT ” or “SPILL”
This painting was done as the result of a vision given in a gathering of worshiping young people committed to intercession. The image is of the ruffling as of angels’ wings, and a bowl of incense being spilt out, pouring as pure liquid gold. It encourages me to believe that tipping points come, if we do not loose heart. In Revelation chapter 8 bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, are mixed with fire from the altar, and then spilt out on the earth. The impact brings about transformation. The contents of this bowl are liquid gold. In 1 Peter 1.3-6, we are encouraged to believe that the inevitable trial of our faith results in pure gold, or indeed is “more precious than gold”.
I pray that this would be an encouragement to you who pray, in your work of intercession. Your labour is not in vain, “in the Lord.” There will be “tipping points”. When young men and women rise to the challenge, God is rallying His troops. He promises that there will be a willing band of warriors, in His day of power. “Your people will volunteer freely in the day of your Power, in holy array, from the womb of the dawn, your youth are to you, as the dew.” Psalm 110.3 (New American Standard). The Message puts it like this. “Your people will freely join you at the fresh break of day, join you with all the vigour of youth.”
May those who are called to intercession courageously press forward in prayer, believing that there will be transformation. May you experience “tipping points”, fruit for the trial of your faith. May answered prayer spill from bowls of incense as pure gold poured out on the earth, causing a harvest of righteousness and many turning to God.
November 2012, revised March 2015.
Acrylic and Mixed Media Painting. First painted in (Spring 2009) A second painting “Suzuran” 2. (Spring 2010)
“Wake up, wake up, Jerusalem! Become strong! Be beautiful again, Holy City of Jerusalem! (Isaiah 51.9 – NLT)
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you” (Isaiah 60 v1, 2)
I had been thinking about what it means that the Church is “The Bride of Christ”. As I meditated on Bible passages about this theme, I felt inspired to paint a picture of how I imagined the Bride would look, if she was truly ready and waiting for her Bridegroom. I saw her Awake! Watchful! Dressed in her beautiful wedding garments, scanning the horizon, eager for signs of her Bridegroom. Around her a whirlwind of loose ends, the shape of many unanswered questions in her heart, but her eyes are focused, confident in hope that the day dawns, and her Beloved comes for Her. Her bridal bouquet is already in her hand, fragrant with “Lily of the Valley”, sweetness gathered in suffering.
Researching “Lily of the Valley” to get a picture of the flower, I came across the website suzuranbbc.com. “Suzuran” is the Japanese version of our English name “Susannah” and means “Lily of the Valley”. The website belonged to a Baptist Church, planted in Hiroshima in 1993. The Church had chosen this little flower to represent the good news of Jesus’ Resurrection. Out of the ashes of Hiroshima, lily of the valley carpets the slopes of mountains that once were devastated by atomic fallout!
“Once the snow melts and the harsh Hokkaido winter ends, a small plant sprouts and before long it displays short stems holding many small, cute, bell shaped flowers. Though tiny, these white bells give off a beautiful fragrance. This flower is not only beautiful but strong. No matter how cold the winter, they always return in the spring, so as to ring their tiny bells.”
What a beautiful picture of Christian hope, speaking of Jesus, our “Lily of the Valley.” It was impossible for the grave to hold Him captive, and he endured the cross and grave, for the joy set before him, His Bride. In days when there is so much evil rampant in the earth, it is good to focus our eyes on Him, so that we don’t grow weary and worn down by evil. For those who overcome the promise is sure “Your eyes will see the King in His beauty”.
“Who among us can live with the consuming fire? He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, he who rejects unjust gain, and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe, he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil, he will dwell on the heights, his refuge will be the impregnable rock, his bread will be given him, his water will be sure. Your eyes will see the King in His beauty.” (Isaiah 33v14 to17)
“Look, here He comes… leaping across the mountains! My Beloved spoke and said to me, ‘Arise my Darling, My Beautiful One, and come with me. See, the winter is past: the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth: the season of singing has come; the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my Darling, my Beautiful One, come with me.’” (Song of Songs 2v8 to 13)
Hazel Patterson Summer 2010.
Revised February 2015
My mother often read to me at bed time, when I was a little girl. I loved the sound of her voice ,the smell of her perfume, and the warmth of being held close to her, as she read to me. A favourite book was “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Marjorie Williams. When I became a mother, I read it to my children, and now I am reading it to my grand children. The story is about a child’s favourite toy rabbit. It is a story about love, and about the value of being genuine from the inside out. The little rabbit was precious to the boy, not because he was expensive or modern, but because he had been the boy’s companion for a long time.It was his fidelity, rather than his appearance, that made the worn little rabbit precious. One morning in the nursery, the toys are having a conversation about what it means to be real. “Real isn’t how you are made..it is a thing that happens to you… when a child loves you for a long long time…then you become real… It doesn’t happen all at once.. generally by the time you become real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand” These were the values my mother wanted to teach me.That a heart that was beautiful and true was so much more valuable than being slick and impressive on the outside. ” Man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart”( 1 Samuel 16 v 7)
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High,
Will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty,
He alone is my place of refuge, my place of safety,
He will shelter you with His wings,
He will shelter you with His feathers,
His faithful promises are your protection”.
Sometimes , storms come ” out of the blue” in life, and threaten to overwhelm us. We have felt secure and suddenly life events threaten to wash us away! Where is there a safe place in the Storms of Life? Psalm 91 says that God promises to shelter those who come to Him for protection. He promises a place of safety, tucked under His wings , and close to His heart we can find a safe place in any storm .To find that place of safety, we must let go of our own efforts to save ourselves, and run to “The shelter of the Most High”
I painted “Shelter” at a time when we lost a dear friend in a drowning accident .In my painting a girl sleeps safely, sheltered by a comforting wing . The wing could also represent a wave. Surfers know that the safest place to be is in the barrel of the wave. I don’t know much about surfing but it seems to me that this also requires surrender, to let the wave take you safely ashore . When I am overwhelmed I know I need to run to the shelter of God’s wings, and that I will find comfort and rest in that safe place until the storm passes. ” I will say to the Lord “You are my refuge, My God, in whom I trust “
‘Small Beginnings’ an Etching by Hazel Patterson.
Our two daughters are both teachers of small children, and have been very busy, with the run up to Christmas, producing ‘ the school play.’ Traditionally the Christmas play tells the story of the first Christmas. The point of the play is to give each child a chance to be a part of a production and to entertain and hopefully impress their Mums and Dads with their acting ability.We got an invitation to be part of the audience, as our daughter was the children’s teacher. One of the productions was ‘Call the Midwife’ – an up to date account of ‘ the Nativity’. The little midwife was very cute, in her white nurses uniform,and carried an immense briefcase. She was searching for the Palace in Bethlehem, so she could assist at a ‘Royal birth’, but Bethlehem is a little insignificant village in the Judean Hills, with no Royal Palace. She is led by some shepherds, angels and wise men to a stable, and discovers she has come too late to assist at the birth. She realizes this is a special baby. Her conclusion is “I thought he needed me, but I needed Him”. I was disarmed by this childish telling of the Christmas Story, and found tears in my eyes. What small and humble beginnings for the story of mankind’s redemption! Just as the prophets had said, “But you Bethlehem, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5 v 2).
There is a new CD release for Christmas, by ‘Pentatonix’, of ‘Mary Did You Know?’, a song about the birth of this new born King. It just about sums up for me the immensity of these small beginnings.
“Mary did you know
that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary did you know
that your baby boy, would save our sons and daughters?
did you know
that your baby boy has come to make you new?
this child that you delivered, will soon deliver you”
cf “Mary did You Know” Pentatonix, lyrics by Mark
I was a child of the sixties, and as a teenager I liked to listen to the ballads
of Judi Collins. .Her songs made motherhood sound like a noble calling.
” had I a golden thread and a needle so fine,
I would weave a magic strand of rainbow design,
in it I would weave the courage of a woman giving birth,
and in it I would weave the innocence of children of all the earth”( Judi Collins)
I had no concept at that time of the courage of motherhood. I married in my early twenties, and we were soon expecting our first baby. When my first child was born I discovered that courage and self-sacrifice were born with the baby. Motherhood was a romantic notion until I was expecting my own child. The carrying of a child in my womb and the labour of giving birth, some how empowered me with determination to defend and nurture this new life. The hard work of the birthing process developed in me an endurance to give myself to nurture the life of our new baby. I have now had the experience of waiting for a grand child’s arrival, being along side as another mother laboured. I have watched as courage was born in a mother through giving birth to her child.” The fruit of the womb is a reward ” Psalm 127 v 3.
‘ A Child is Born‘ Mixed Media Print of Steph and Elijah
When I first realised, that I was carrying a new life within me, all those years ago, I looked for every picture I could find of the developing baby in the womb.I discovered Lennart Nilssons book “A Child is Born” (Bantham Doubleday Dell Pub Group) These incredible pictures of the moments after conception, a few hours after the nuclei had fused, looked like an emerging world in a new galaxy. ” Surrounded by its transparent wall the blastocyst glides into the uterus, moving over the mucus membrane of the uterus, like a lunar landing” It was beyond exciting to me, to be the bearer of a new life, a tiny human being that I would have the joy of nurturing, inside my own body, and then at my breast, and on through all the developmental stages of childhood, have the honour of being a mother, to a new human being. The challenge was full of surprises and learning and eventually letting go. When my eldest son’s wife Steph, and my daughter Heidi were expecting their first babies, at the same time,I went back to study the pictures of new life in the womb. The excitement of being an expectant grandparent stirred the wonder I had experienced as an expectant mother and I took up my paint brush to be involved in this creative process agaHazel Patterson