Beginning in 2001, following a back injury, I began to "paint" with fabric. It started with a view of poppies and wild flowers fashioned from tiny bits of brilliant silk sewn to muslin. I overlaid a portion with pale green silk organza that gave it all a look of a field of poppies on a misty morn, then I lightly quilted around the grasses of the field to define them.
Not long afterward, a vibrant orange batik cried out to become a clown fish magnified a thousand times, bursting through a forest of sea urchins, rendered first in watercolor, then in fabric. Milky white silk chiffon covering the "urchins" gave way to a peek at a treasure of gold and gems fashioned from metallic threads and exquisite glass beads.
Artist? Or A Strange Cross Between Etymologist and Painter?
But then, Learning Hebrew Changed Everything...
and the "Awesome Lamb" emerged
C'mon, tell me what happened.......
Unlock the Supernatural Forces in the Hebrew Alphabet
Supernatural Powers lie waiting for us in the Hebrew Alphabet -- waiting to unfold the mysteries of Messiah, the mysteries of answered prayer.
Explore the meaning of the Hebrew letters in Seh ha'Elohiym now.
"...a Christian all my life, it was not until I saw and could release the forces hidden within the Hebrew letters that I truly began to grasp the scope of God's love for us or the true nature of our Redeemer"
What, Exactly, is a Mezuzah? Don't Miss Mezuzah 101: A Primer for Christians and Others Who Have Missed the Boat on This Treasure House of Incalculable Blessing
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On a roll, nine or so months later I sketched a crane leaping from a marshy lake to greet the dawn. The fabrics came to my hands as if by magic. Chintzy cottons streaked the mauve sky, and brilliant orange silks became the just-rising sun resting on the horizon. The crane lifts into the sky to greet the dawn, his feathers burnished by the sunglow to gold. I appliquéd nearly a hundred feathers of a gold rayon blend to create him and deeply quilted the water to add depth and sense of rippling movement.
The trio sold quickly.
At a time, about 10 years ago, when I was nearing the crest of the hill age-wise, but hadn't quite gone over to the oh-so-slippery other side, I had an encounter one night that began to bring every gift our Father had given me together. The crane was still under construction then, feather by feather, stitch by stitch. An astonishing voice woke me in the middle of the night and commanded me to do a thing. I was unprepared.
A Voice in the Night and a Sharp Command
We were in Mendocino, CA. It was nearing Palm Sunday as I recall, when I awoke about 3:00 A.M., startled to hear a voice commanding me to pray for Israel. Other than my sweet husband, snoring softly nearby, and a gray and white cat curled up deep in sleep, there was no one. I lay my head back on the pillow. Again the voice spoke, "Pray for Israel." I shook Neal awake and told him what I had heard. He didn't laugh. The Lord had been working things in us for months, causing us to delve deeply into His word. There was no going back to sleep for either of us.
In our Lutheran and Presbyterian backgrounds, neither of us had ever been called upon to pray for Israel. What were we to pray? How were we to pray?
A week later, we were headed for Minnesota, and had stopped in Sacramento. While Neal went to fetch some coffee in a restaurant, I opened my trusty old Scofield Bible, which was never more than a hand's reach away now. If I could not hear the voice again and inquire what I should do, then I would search the Word until I found it. Unwittingly, I did find it, but did not know the implications of the search that would reveal it.
I had opened the Word to Isaiah 44. Go with me there and read from verse 1 through 5. Can you hear the joy and even boasting in the voice of the Father, as He describes the fulfillment of His desire to bless His children and the picture of those children? I came away from reading it with a linguistic tug-of-war raging. As I read the words that would be written on the hands or arms of those who are His, I thought of the commands in Deuteronomy to "bind these words in your hands", and the mark on the hands that would be demanded of all who would be able to earn a wage and buy goods in the last days.
I pleaded with my husband to take me to a library where I could check a Strong's or Young's Concordance to see what the Hebrew looked like for these words, “write on his hand or arm”. And there began an odyssey that shows no end in sight.
I began to study Hebrew...and what I learned and continue to learn is the answer to the gaping hole the etymologist could not fill with all the knowledge in all the texts of the brilliant etymological minds in the world, past or present. Here is the language of the beginning of all things. Here is a language so alive it is restive to bring the truth to all who love God and seek to know Him and to know His will.
Those verses inspired another fabric painting I called Sumbibatso, accomplished while I rested from my intense studies.
It is a Greek word used in Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. The word is sumbibatso (soom-bi-baht'-so). It is most often translated into English as "knit together" or “joined together”. A more accurate translation would be, "the whole is equal to the sum of its parts".
Again, the fabrics fairly jumped at me, vibrant yellow streams out of a turquoise batik heaven. Streams of yellow...like brilliant cords, became the life-lines cast by the Holy Spirit connecting to the upraised appliquéd hands -- cords binding us together with the God Who loves us. A white dove flies above the praising hands. Ever the dove has been associated with peace...shalom. Shalom, not “peace” as we define it in worldly terms, but the wholeness the Hebrew letters it contains speak of...reunion with the God Who made us. The upraised hands are inscribed "Unto the Lord".
Sumbibatso was given with more love and
respect than he will ever know to a pastor
in Charlottesville, VA.