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Making Meditations

Updated: Jun 3, 2018

I recently made a gift for a dear friend. She asked if she could commission me for a scarf that included poppies and some of the verses from Isaiah 6, the scene describing Isaiah's vision of the throne room of heaven. I like painting Scripture because it is a natural opportunity to meditate on the meaning of the verse. Painting letters requires precision. There is no speed in this process. It is all methodical, thoughtful, slowed-down making. And so sometimes, oftentimes actually, insight comes in the same manner as the brush strokes- quietly and with curiosity until the form of the idea takes shape along with the verse.

I was painting: "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory." (Isaiah 6:3) This is what the two seraphim (angels) who stand at the throne of God proclaim throughout eternity. I've read this passage many times, discussed it with friends, heard pastors refer to it, and always with understandable reverence, awe, and inspired tears. For me, awe is not only inspired by the vision of heaven, but also by how different from us the seraphim are as created beings. (Need I list the ways?!) Reverence, awe, holiness- they all instill a sense of distance in me, a lack of intimacy or belonging, and I too have Isaiah's reaction: "Woe is me, for I am ruined because I am one of unclean lips..." Sometimes I can hear Harrison Ford shouting, "Don't look at it Miriam! Keep your eyes closed!" You know the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This is not a wrong reaction!

For the first time, though, I see something else in verse 6:3, a glimpse into heaven that beckons me closer, eyes open and gazing beyond the fear with innocent wonder. When I am praising the Lord, I refer to Him as "My Lord" or "Our Savior" or "Master," etc. Look at what the seraphim are saying, "...the Lord of hosts..." They ARE the host! It is as if they are saying, "Our Lord." Their proclamation at the throne is deeply personal. They see Him face to face, never separated by sin in any way. They are created beings, just as we are created beings, and they address Him with intimacy, and I dare add, with love. Not only that, they go on to praise Him for what they have witnessed Him doing. Scripture records in Job 38:7 that the angels sang for joy while the Lord was creating the heavens and earth. And now they are standing at His throne rejoicing, praising Him, worshiping Him for all He has done: "...the whole earth is full of His glory." What love! What joy they are expressing! They do this for all eternity, just as I am now and shall forever be worshiping Him for the work He completed for me!

This scene is for me still indeed reverent, holy, awesome, but I can now add that it is a glimpse into the profound intimacy between Almighty God and His heavenly host. I anxiously await joining my voice with theirs in the singing.

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