RESTING is the fourth in a series of four small botanical pieces which I call my "sad series." This painting was inspired by a photo I took of a dahlia that was growing in my garden last autumn.
The flower was so full, and vibrant, and perfectly shaped. Yet it was growing on a stem that wasn't strong enough to support its weighty beauty.
I was struck by how its head was resting on a wall in our yard. It was only the strength of that warm, red brick which kept the flower intact to flourish. Remarkably to me, this Dahlia seemed to feel no shame in the fact that it needed help.
It just lived a happy life, knowing it was being held up by something bigger and stronger, outside of itself. It wasn't trying to compete with the other flowers that were reaching towards the sky with their own strong, tall stems.
This lone dahlia knew it had limitations, but didn't let those diminish all the good that it could do. Although not "perfect," it was still a beautiful blossom, greeting me for many days as I passed by — its life a bright symbol of hope during a rather dark spell inside my restless mind.
There were other beautiful blossoms in my garden which weren't quite so fortunate. Not having found a support system to keep themselves propped up, they ended up rotting in the dirt.
The sad thing was, each of those other flowers, with the skinny weak stems, were each within leaning distance of the very same warm, red brick wall. Yet they didn't have the same sense to reach out for help in order to stand tall.
What a good reminder to me and my over-achieving, lone-ranger, always-busy, restless mind. A reminder that a life without friends cannot be healthy. A life without resting is not happy.
Lately, I am choosing to spend more time leaning on the brick wall of my faith. What a difference this had made in my spirits these last months.
I heard a new version of this old song below, as I was in the middle of working on painting "Resting."
It made me cry good tears. Tears of peace. Tears of rest.
I cried because this old hymn sums up so very well — the Hope that holds me up — so very well. The only Hope where my mind can go for TRUE REST.
— Marie Scott, April 2016
"It is Well with My Soul"
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul, It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!— My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.