The Remarkable Story Behind This Painting
For years I have been thinking of painting the unborn Christ Child with the Virgin Mary. I had done a few many years ago but was never really satisfied with them. What became more powerful in my thinking has been that this is a painting that I felt I had to do, maybe you could say a commission from God.
The journey was not easy. This will seem a strange series of events especially for those who are protestant and don't think that God may deal in this way. Thinking about how to do it and the many things that go into painting this type of image was much to contemplate, such as the look of the Virgin Mary and the Christ child and the background both around the Infant Jesus and of the painting itself. How traditional should I make it and how large? These are just a few things I pondered over. Many times I have been asked how long it takes me to paint a painting and I really don’t measure the time because it is more than just sitting in front of a canvas with a brush and paint. There has been a lot of thought and definitely prayer involved in this type of painting, seriously considering whether this would be accepted by all Christians regardless of denomination. Can such a painting (icon) be done to be a universal Christian symbol for the sanctity of the unborn? This has been it’s own very real journey from the time that I did start painting and here is the story.
After deciding to paint this painting, I decided on how to do the face and position of the Virgin Mary and the position of Jesus and how I would portray the womb and her hands, I began by drawing the outline with pencil on the canvas. The whole painting has taken several months, not necessarily because I have taken so much time to paint but painting at times and the not painting sometimes for weeks. In a very real way it has been a spiritual battle and also a spiritual experience for this painter. I thought seriously about how to make this so that it would be acceptable to all Pro-Life people considering the talent that God had given to me and the training I have received. The reaction of a few already who have seen it has been sometimes with tears of the viewers, sometimes, “I want a copy.”
Several very strange and yet powerful things happened while painting this that I, after painting literally hundreds of paintings, have never experienced. You can call them “supernatural” or moments where I believe God was trying to send a message through this not only to me but to all. I have taken pictures all the way along and two very distinct experiences I have felt strongly about and took pictures. As one looks at the pictures of this artist with paint on his hands that looks like blood, it was definitely not intentional. It seemed like whenever I painted with the red paint which I used to paint the background of Jesus to signify the womb, I got paint everywhere and it seemed frustrating until I realized that it was the Lord giving a message about how serious the killing of the innocent unborn and spilling of innocent blood is to Him.
At the same time I was painting this painting I read in my daily Bible reading in the Old Testament about why God punished Israel and scattered them out of their homeland. Many people who read the Bible are not even aware of the fact that the Israelites at times were in their worship of Baal sacrificing their first born by offering them to the false god Baal by burning their babies in the sacrificial fire. This was not only a turn away from worship of the true God who made us, but killing innocent babies which greatly wounds the heart of God. If there is one thing God hates, it is the shedding of innocent blood and He has made that perfectly clear in scripture. The majority of abortions in our nation are done because of the unwanted babies that are the result of sexual lust.
The latest experience that I had was when I went to wipe off a red stain in the hole by Mary’s eye made by the point of the paint compass. Any artist who has to paint a perfect circle knows what a paint compass is. It has a point on one end and a painting tool on the other. The compass had some paint on the point and after finishing the halo around Mary’s head I wanted to repair the hole so it could not be seen like the hole unintentionally made on Jesus hand made by the pointed end of the compass, which I decided to leave, realizing the significance of the nail wound. As I put a finger in a bit of water and the other I had behind the hole to smooth the canvas, it ran down and formed a tear which I definitely did not plan. I stood there looking at it is somewhat consternation more than amazement. I had certainly heard of weeping icons in the Orthodox and Catholic church but did not plan this. For a few moments I just stared at it and asking God if this meant something. I had to determine in my mind whether to wipe it off or leave it. I seriously thought that if I left it on that many would say that I painted it or that I might claim that it was a miracle which I cannot say because it could have been a natural flow of the water I had dabbed on with a finger to clean the hole and patch it. As I looked a tear ran down her cheek. Also there was the red paint on the hole which I had gotten inadvertently by the compass tip. I decided to wipe the tear off because of fear of people thinking I would claim that it was a miracle. I do not claim that it was a miracle but I do believe that it did not happen just by chance and that it was a sign from of God’s and Jesus mother’s sorrow over the 60,000,000+ babies killed every year through abortion. Be that as it may, it moved me in a way that I had to take a picture as I had my phone handy.
The background of the painting is significant as in the Book of Revelation chapter twelve
it talks about the woman with child going in to the wilderness being chased by a dragon (symbolizing Satan) who of course did not want this baby born. I am aware that Protestants interpret this as Israel and Catholics as Mary. The early Fathers of the Church also had this divided opinion. I have come to believe that it is one of those strange God breathed passages that has a double prophetic meaning.
Look at it, ponder it and let the Holy Spirit make real the fact of Jesus birth, a child who could have been aborted because of being conceived without coming together with Joseph. We must try and do what we can to end the horrible sin of abortion, the killing of the innocents, the spilling of innocent blood. We must turn our nation back to a time when we believed in God, His Word the Bible and His commandments.
There has been such damage to both men and women through abortions. Only God can heal the guilt and remorse many feel. He is able and willing when one comes to Him in humble repentance. God loves all and wants all people to not only live, but live knowing Him whom to know is life and life eternal. On the baby Jesus’ hand in the painting is a hole made by the compass to draw a circle of glory around Him. The hole was not planned to be in His hand but as the absolute center of the circle of glory. I have decided to leave it as it is symbolic of the wounds that Christ would receive when He was crucified to forgive the sins of all who would believe in Him. Trust Him now and realize His love for you.
Symbolism in the painting.
1 Mary the mother of Jesus is pregnant
2. Jesus is a pre-born innocent baby
3. The gold rays and blue circle around the Infant Jesus are symbolic of the Glory of God
4. The halo around Mary’s head symbolizes her virginity and purity through the conception and incarnation.
5. The hole in Jesus hand symbolizes the future crucifixion and death He would suffer for our sins.
6. The mountainous rocks symbolize the desert in Revelation 12 when the woman with child was chased by the evil one who wanted to destroy Him.
The size of the original painting is 4’ x 3’
God bless you as you look at this painting and contemplate the life of the unborn that God has created.
At What Price Abortion?
By Rev. Jim Obermeyer
In pondering the results of abortion on society, I have been thinking about the horrendous price we have paid in our culture by allowing it. I was dumbfounded the other day when saw a news clip of a rally on the steps of our Supreme Court building where young women were cheering the killing of babies and a high official in our land going right along with it. It was beyond belief except for the fact of knowing how deceived people can be spiritually and how rampant evil is in our society.
Just think of what could have been and what might be happening if the 70+ million children killed in abortion had been allowed to live. Could we have seen a cure for cancer from a new brilliant mind, a new Thomas Edison, a new Bach or Chopin, a young man or woman who could one day be president or possibly a new Billy Graham? These are just a few of the possibilities we will never know. A whole generation has been lost, and at what cost?
I often think what about the Virgin Mary? If anyone had a right in a secular society to have an abortion it would have been Mary. Pregnant with child apart from her betrothed husband, Joseph. Jesus would not have been born! The Savior and Messiah who would save us from our sins and bring to us eternal life. How about Beethoven who was illegitimate? All of that glorious music would be lost. What about Rachel in the Bible who died in childbirth giving life to Benjamin who would be one of God’s chosen to lead one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The stories could go on and on.
I would venture to say that most women who have abortions do not know that when the egg and sperm come together there is a flash of light which is the beginning of a real human child at conception. Beyond that, most in our world are not acknowledging the guilt and depression that goes along with abortion for the mother, unless of course she has given into the lie that it is only a piece of flesh from her own body, not knowing that it is a separate being with it’s own beating heart and blood type separate from hers.
I do know two things that I would like to say to those who are considering or have had abortions.
1. God has ordained that every human life is sacred and WE have no right to end it.
2.. There is forgiveness and new life for any who have already ended a human life in that God through Jesus Christ has provided forgiveness for those who come to Him and confess their sin. Jesus is merciful to all who come to Him.
To say that I am pro-life is an understatement. This is not politically correct and I really don’t care. PC has caused a great downfall of morality in our world today. We need millions of People to stand for the lives of the unborn, Christians and non-Christians alike. I pray an end to abortion and millions of others are also praying. Keep on keeping on! Some day hopefully we will see an end of what it is now.
God help us and grant it for the babies sake and for Jesus sake! Amen.