Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Just a Scratch

If you have read any of the previous posts than you have probably gathered that I love to draw! One of my favorite mediums to create art with is a material called "scratch board". It is made of a card stock material covered in a thin layer of china clay and then completely overlaid in Indian ink.
You take a fine tipped knife and begin to slowly "Scratch" the ink off the surface of the clay allowing the brilliant white clay to be seen in sharp contrast to the black. The white portion becomes your picture while the dark become the shadows allowing your mind to fill in the blanks to grasp the complete picture.

I love this medium. It is challenging not to cut too deep where you destroy the clay, but just gently enough to remove the layers of darkness. The result is absolutely stunning!

The beauty of the art is that it requires the artist to see what cannot be seen. You have to be able to look into the darkness and pull out what only you know is hiding there.

The thing about the darkness is that is complete in it's covering of what it hides.

There is really no end to the images that can be brought to life out of that dark layer. It takes precision, patience, time and love.

I was reading something the other day which really grabbed my heart. It was written by King David.

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" ~Psalms 27:1 

What an awesome statement!

David was far from perfect and the Bible lays his failures right out alongside his successes, but David did know who he was in Christ.

Here he makes a statement very similar to the artwork that I have posted.

David is saying the Lord is the light you see emerging from a dark canvas.

In fact, any light you see is a direct result of Him. The word light used here means: Illumination, or morning source.

Illumination I get, but morning source?

I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the phrase morning source is... you guessed it! The Sun.

The people of Israel respected David with a devout respect. They had a name for him in which this psalm is written as a response to.

"But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel." ~2 Samuel 21:1

David was referred to as "The light of Israel". David wanted everyone to know right then that any light they see was not from him. He was merely reflecting light from The Source. God the Father!
It is an interesting thought! Jesus refers to those who belong to God as His children as being "The light of the World".
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." ~~Matthew 5:14-16

 I love this analogy!  

We have been illuminated by God through Christ. We now have the ability to shine in darkness where before we could not. The light came from God. We were not self starters. The Bible explains that we loved the darkness, but God draws us through the Holy Spirit and gives us the opportunity to receive the Light. If we receive Him, we become light.

"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:" ~Ephesians 5:8 

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:5 

In other words, you shine because of a source. That source has enabled you to now shine, so shine!

The light is there, and God pulls it out of the darkness to allow us to complete the picture He has for us to be. The image of His son.

 How does God pull that picture of His light out?

He scratches the canvas

This is where we sometimes resist. We fail to grasp what David was able to. The Lord is our light! He desires to shine to a dark world! He allows us to be His light!

The scratch knife can seem very intimidating, and in the hand of a beginner it can be down right dangerous to the clay. But God is no beginner. He is the most skilled artist who ever was. So He skillfully appllies the knife to the dark flesh patterns of our canvas and begins to slowly scrape and slide the darkness away.

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." ~ 1 Peter 4:12-13

There have been times when I have resisted the knife and times when have faltered in my faith in His skill, but every time I have yielded I have been amazed that He saw the area of light that He chose to expose. I never knew that if He scratched that area of my life that His light would explode against the dark contrast of the world around it.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." ~Ephesians 2:10

There comes moments in our lives where we have to cling to Romans 8:28 and believe it or just resist it.

The image that He wants to create with us in amazing!

 David says, "Who shall I be afraid of ?"

The Knife is in the same hand He holds you with, and the same hand whose palm bears your name.

God is not mad at you. He is working, He is scratching away what He needs to in order to bring forth a picture that is His masterpiece!

Climbing with you,



  1. Cynthia Bechtold DelayMarch 27, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Thank you for sharing this, Dan. Fabulous. Interestingly, when I was coming out from the IFB Movement, it was a very "dark" time in our lives. One of my sons was dying from an unknown condition, and another one of my sons had been involved in a tractor accident, leaving him unable to walk. While in the hospital, I took out my Bible, and, literally cried out to the Lord, because I certainly was at the end of my strength. 2 Samuel 22:29 gave me great comfort and courage to do what I knew we had to do. "For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness." From that day forward, the verses in the Bible that speak of God being our light in this dark place, have taken on a whole new meaning. You have expressed this through your gift of art, and I love that.

  2. Really good stuff! When Abraham (a type of our Father) went up to sacrifice Isaac (a type of Christ) in Genesis 22:6 he carried with him a knife. I have felt the scratch from the Fathers knife over and over but the more he scratches at my surface (flesh) the more Christ's light shines and I love it! He never pierces me though, never to deep. It's man that chooses to put the knife of God in their mouth for the express purpose of devouring others (Proverbs 30:14).