I call this painting "Waiting." I started it in 2011, simply as part of a painting demonstration during "Art Day" at my son's school. At the time, I never thought its meaning would be any deeper than just a beautiful seaside landscape. But then it sat, and Waited for well over a year before I picked it up again.
When I finally got this piece back out and onto the easel, it was in the midst of some rock-your-world HARD THINGS going on in the lives of people who are close to me.
So as I painted, I prayed for my friends as they were each "Waiting" in places very far away from me.
Waiting to see if their 12-year daughter was going to live through the night, then the week, then the month, then the months.
Waiting to see if her husband would come back.
Waiting to see if her heart would ever heal after the loss of her baby boy.
In the midst of all this waiting, I heard some great teaching about heaven. I was reminded that our life here on earth is so temporary in the light of eternity. We are basically just Waiting here on earth for our True Life to begin...and be perfect...and last forever. (Which, if you keep this in mind, makes the Waiting seem not quite so bad.)
As I painted palm fronds, and prayed for my friends, I wondered about this tree. Why is it all alone on the beach?
The more I painted and prayed, the more it seemed to me that the tree was Waiting. The phrase that kept running through my head in regards to this tree, is that it was "standing on the edge of the unknown." Just like my friends.
The tree is firmly planted in the sand, but next to a seemingly endless body of water. If it could talk, I think the tree would have some questions about this water it was standing so close to.
"How deep is the water? Where does it end? Will it consume me? Is it warm or cold?" None of these answers are apparent.
Yet the tree still stands firm, next to the edge of the unknown, doing its best to enjoy each new day. Some days the water is a rich, calming deep azure blue -- but on others it is gray, stormy and completely out of control.
Each of my friends who have been Waiting these past months and years, are so fortunate to be firmly planted themselves. Planted in the security that comes from knowing, that while they stand on the edge of the unknown, there is One who knows it all, and has it ALL under control. One who hears the deepest cries of their hearts. One who is worthy of their trust, no matter what is on the other side of the unknown.
I am fortunate to have found such friends. They each live in different states, but through the journey of watching them Wait these past months, I have been an eye-witness to God's faithfulness to each of them in the midst of their different storms.
This tree is a reminder to me, that no matter what the results of the Waiting is here on earth, there will be a day when ALL is made perfect. A day when the tree will only ever stand next to a beautiful, sparkling body of safe, warm water... For all of eternity.
--Marie Scott, April 2013
(To listen to something that inspired me while I was painting, visit http://www.downtownpres.org/sermon-downloads and listen to "Home" from "3 March 2013")