Painted Symbols of Hope

We take symbols very seriously.  In fact, we've mentioned the importance of Ebenezers (here, here) on Hope Heals before as memory devices in our lives that call us to remember just how far God has brought us and to correspondingly encourage us with hope that He will continue to bring us even further in the future.  For us forgetful people, it seems we need all the symbolic memory triggers we can get! 

When discussing this artistic collaboration for Hope Heals Art, we shared with Lulie several symbols that serve as important "Ebenezers" for us--we have them in our home or on this website or somehow wear them.  Incredibly, Lulie incorporated them all into "Flowers for Katherine".  Seeing this beautiful painting alone just makes us smile, but to see it embody so many promises that we hold so dear inspires something much inspires hope.  We think it will do the same for you!


1) FLOWERS -- flowers remind us of God's provision for us, while also highlighting the fleetingly beautiful nature of life itself--asking us "what will we do with this one wild and  precious life?", knowing it will fade as quickly as a beautiful bloom.

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." MATTHEW 6:28-29 

"As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. " PSALM 103:15-16

{* the flowers in the painting include some of my favorites: peonies, ranunculus, and hydrageas

2)  FIG LEAVES -- fig leaves remind us of our attempts to cover our pain (think Adam & Eve) but even more they remind us that through the pain there can still be joy.

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. " HABBAKUK 3:17-18

3) STARBURST -- stars represent God's immense glory and in comparison our smallness in this universe, but amazingly, we find the same God who flung the stars in the sky cares about us!  Even more, stars remind us of a promise on the outset of an inexplicable faith journey (think Abraham), a promise that will one day be fulfilled...

"He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what he knows and does."  PSALM 147:3-5 

"I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.GENESIS 22:17

{* look a little closer on this light blue background of Hope Heals' website--starbursts

4)  WAVES -- the ocean waves represent the breadth and depth of a God that our minds cannot fully comprehend. Those waves are also reminders of the storms of life that threaten to topple our us, unless our foundation is firm.

"Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me." PSALM 42:7

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, maybe compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock." MATTHEW 7:24-25

5) ANCHORS -- you may have already noticed our fondness for this ancient symbol of hope :)  The anchor represents our link to the true hope that is Jesus Christ, the one who has gone before us, the one who embodies our future reality of hope that we might live lives of hope in our present moments.

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf." HEBREWS 6:19-20