Kimberly Reisman ~ From One Degree of Glory

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My sister, Kerry Peeples, is an artist. She’s one of those “can do pretty much anything kind of artists,” but her main love is painting. Over the years our family has been blessed to come in contact with many interesting and talented people. One of those is Chris Tomlin. A while back, Chris commissioned Kerry to do a painting for him. He wanted something that would embody gratitude and would honor all the people who had helped him along the way.

Reflections ~ Kerry Dunnam Peeples (encaustic on panel)
Reflections ~ Kerry Dunnam Peeples (encaustic on panel)

In response to his request, Kerry painted Reflections. It’s beautiful; but what makes it even more wonderful is the artist statement she wrote to accompany it. She chose 2 Corinthians 3:18 as her inspiration.

And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness, from one degree of glory to the next; for this comes from the Spirit who is the Lord.

I always thought I was the writer, but as I said, Kerry’s one of those can do pretty much anything kind of artists. Here is how she described the painting:

The painting Reflections, celebrates the awesome process of changing into who we are and whose we are, God’s children, made in his image. God finds such delight in this process, especially when we reflect and acknowledge his grace within the journey. The painting is composed of several elements or reflections, which together create a visual “thank you” to God. Commissioned by Chris Tomlin, Reflections not only serves as a vehicle to look back with gratitude, but also a gift to honor those who helped Chris along the way.

Encaustic is an old form of painting in which the artist uses hot wax mixed with varnish and pigment. The artist must work layer upon layer; painting, then applying heat to make sure each layer marries the previous layer. One of the beauties of encaustic is that the transparency of the wax enables the viewer to see a history of marks and strokes. The finished image is often visibly dependent on what went before. Isn’t life like that?

“With unveiled face…from one degree of glory to the next…”

Like the butterfly emerging from its cocoon, our veil is being lifted and we are becoming more and more the way we were made. The painting Reflections does just that. It reflects bits of glory in Chris Tomlin’s life. The constancy of family, friends and God, the Holy Spirit who does arrive, and the gift of music, leadership and praise; all these are elements of glory, degrees of change.

Life is like that. We are always indebted to the past, even as we are creating a new and beautiful future. And we are becoming more and more the way we were made, as God moves us from one degree of glory to the next.

 

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

 

 

This post originally appeared on KimberlyReisman.com ~ used with permission

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Kimberly Reisman is an author, pastor, teacher and theologian serving as Executive Director of World Methodist Evangelism of the World Methodist Council. Prior to beginning at WME, Kim served in local churches, as Executive Director of Next Step Evangelism and General Editor for WesleyanAccent.com. She is a frequent speaker, focusing on evangelism, spiritual formation, women’s ministries, leadership development and the intersection between faith and culture. Kim is an elder in the United Methodist Church and has written numerous books, most recently, The Christ-Centered Woman: Finding Balance in a World of Extremes (2013, Abingdon Press). Kim is also an Adjunct Professor at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and The School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington.

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