.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} web hit counter

Christ Port

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Visual Divina: Jesus calms The Storm (Matthew 08:23-27; Mark 04:35-41; Luke 08:22-25)


I have painted a picture based on the texts of the gospels (Matthew 08:23-27; Mark 04:35-41; Luke 08:22-25about Jesus calming the storm. This piece of painting can be used for Visio Divina. According to "Visio Divina: A New Prayer Practice for Encounters with God, (New York, NY: Crossroad, 2005), p.27" by Karen Kuchan, she wrote that “contemplative nature of Visio Divina encourages us to sink into God’s presence within, allowing thoughts and emotions to be released which interfere with experiencing union with God”.

Matthew 08:23-27
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Mark 04:35-41
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Luke 08:22-25
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Commentary on My Painting of "Jesus calms the storm"

A Brief Explanation

The painting is to capture an overall picture of “Jesus calms the storm” as described in the Gospels (Matthew 08:23-27; Mark 04:35-41; Luke 08:22-25).  I expected the readers to read the textual Gospels to have an objective understanding of the plot, Biblical interpretation, and to be familiar with the flow of the story before looking at the painting. As a painter, I would have taken the liberty of adding my perception and my imagination plus subjective symbolisms when drawing the picture. The painting is not a replacement of the textual information from the Bible, but it serves as a formative tool allowing viewers to become part of what they have read. Hopefully, the viewers can gain more resonance with the gospel story for a personal reflection that we need to turn our eyes upon Jesus for Salvation and Peace.

(1)  Disciples' Reactions under The Storm

After reading
  • “…little faith … so afraid” (Matthew 8:26b)
  • “a furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped” (Mark 4:37)
  • “ the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger … going to drown” (Luke 8:23b, 24)
This painting is to be viewed starting from the bottom then moving your eyes upward.

As a painter, I have taken the liberty of adding a bit of imagination about the commotion of the disciples onto my painting before they called upon Jesus. Some of them have expressed their fears in different ways (please refer to different facial expressions in the picture, except for one character in the painting that his face is not exposed as he is hiding low with hands placing on his head); some of them have taken all efforts to keep the boat from being swamped, which they fear that it may eventually sink.

(2) Jesus Calming the Storm

The waves are pretty tough in the area where people are trying to react and trying to respond, without noticing that Jesus is behind them. Not saying that we should not have any emotions, or we should not act to help out the situation. Actually, we should be aware of our feelings/emotions in order to sense dangers, and that we all should look upon Jesus and pray (identify our feeling, let go, let God, and listen to the Holy Spirit), and our responding actions should be synchronized with God’s heart, then Peace will be with us.

The waves become quite serene in the area where the two disciples are looking upon Jesus. Jesus got the power to calm the storm (Matthew 8:27, Mark 4:39, Luke 8:24b); therefore, the waves are in order of propelling the boat forward smoothly. Water symbolizes the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39), who empowers us moving forward (spiritual growth), although the bodies of water generally symbolize evil and chaos in the Bible.

(3) Patterns

In the picture, there are four patterns:
  • The perimeter-discrete boat (the broken pieces along the rim) is being held together by Christ. The perimeter of the boat got seven discrete openings, but the boat is still in one piece. This is an analogy to our community. Each of us is unique, with brokenness among us, but if we have Jesus as our redeemer, He will bond us together to glorify God.
  • The shadow of a cross: the wooden boat symbolizes the vertical stroke of the cross; Jesus’ open arms symbolize the horizontal stroke of the cross.
  • Jesus is the incarnated God, the Son as the mediator between us and our Heavenly Father. In the picture, Jesus’ right palm (symbolized power) is facing downward, and His left palm is facing (symbolized His connection with our Heavenly Father) upward.
  • Jesus is embracing all – having His armpits covering all His followers (like a mother bird covering and protecting to her chicks), regardless of their reactions under all conditions, that Jesus is Lord. Jesus is the one in-control. Let’s turn our eyes upon Jesus!


Post a Comment

<< Home