This piece symbolizes the healing we receive when we release our burdens to the Lord. I drew this after hearing a presentation about Rachel’s Vineyard. RV is a weekend retreat to help post abortive men and women release the burden and pain of abortion and then receive forgiveness and healing. They come together at a safe and quiet location and they meet other post abortive women who are also in need of healing. Together, with a Pastor,and a Licensed Professional Counselor, and two post abortive Leaders and Facilitators, who have been through the retreat and training themselves, they restore thier relationship with themselves and with God.
The abortion rates worldwide are shocking- 1 in every 4 women has had an abortion. They have spent thier lives living in regret, shame and pain. They carry this burden with them everywhere they go, in everything they do and say and how they live. They don’t have to. RV is here to help people heal. Not just women- but men also. God is at work in this ministry and I thank God for His healing rain and restoration upon the lives of post-abortive women and men.
I am not here to judge or to have a discussion on abortion. I am writing to let people know that there IS help and that there IS healing. RV is that help and they get people on the road to restoration. Once I heard the speaker I was convicted of my own judgmental attitude on this subject. The fact of the matter is we all make mistakes, ALL OF US. The wonderful thing about the God we serve is that He is right there just waiting to pour His mercy and grace over us. ALL of us. We have to willingly receive it. The speaker said that “God can take what is darkest in your life and turn it into light” and Rachel’s Vineyard does that.
In this drawing you see a cross. There is a ribbon wound around the cross-that ribbon represents the story of your life how it leads to God’s redemption and healing. Yes, this was drawn for RV but it could be for any one of us. The rock is the burden we carry. For some it may be abortion, for others it may be addiction, abuse, etc.. The ribbon is like the road we take to get to God and once we get there it takes others to help us heal (RV, friends, etc.) Our pain binds us up. The birds are those who help unbind us-just as Lazarus was unbound by his friends, we too, must help others. The bird on the right is loosening the binding and leaving behind love. The hearts represent the love of God and others, sprinkled over our lives. ALL OF OUR LIVES. God wants us ALL to come to Him. No ONE is to be left out. NOT ONE. The hearts sprinkle over the burden ( rock) and overtake it, making it hard to see anymore. Behind the rock are roses. When we accept God’s love, healing and grace we turn into a beautiful creation of Him, leaving behind beauty and the aroma of Christ Jesus.
When I got home from hearing about RV I sat down and wrote a letter to a dear friend. I apologized to her for my judgmental attitude concerning abortion. I’m not condoning it, but God does forgive for it. It is a reality we must face and through RV I am learning to be more compassionate. Quite frankly- not one of us knows what we would do if we were faced with the same issues. I can sit here and say, “oh I would never do that…” and I hope I wouldn’t, but the truth is I don’t know what I would do. I remember a sermon that Ronnie preached not long ago on this very same subject. We don’t know what we would do. We can say we wouldn’t steal, murder or commit adultery, but we are all capable of doing these things. All we know is what we HOPE we wouldn’t do them. We are ALL capable of making the wrong decisions. Isn’t that why God gave us His Son? To help us GET PAST those wrong decisions? Not some of them, but ALL of them. We have to learn how to help people get past the pain and NOT judge them for their past. They are already in their own world of self judgment, we don’t need to add to that pain. We need to extend the hand of GOD to all we meet NO MATTER WHAT. God calls us to do this when he says, ” Follow Me.”
I used to think that world was black and white with nothing in between. Today I see differently. I see the many grays in between and the beautiful hues of the grace of God. This journey to God is not an easy one and it helps to have others hold your hand in love along the way. My hands drop by my side every now and then, but today they are clasped together in prayer, in love, and thanksgiving. Only God performs miracles and He is in the business of redeeming His people and he is working through RV to redeem many, many lives. God’s love flows and His forgiveness is sweet.
There IS HOPE.
For more information please visit the website for Rachel’s Vineyard.