I looked around for a long time for this particular boy. I would look at all the boys in our church and around town, and all would be so adorable in their own special way, but I needed to find somebody that had a classic look. Short buzz-cut hair that many boys had didn’t really work for this piece. I also was trying to find a boy that had a certain peace about him. If you have a child, the word “boy” and “peace” don’t usually fit in the same sentence! But that’s what I was looking for!
One day when our children’s primary room was quiet, I walked in and scanned the smiling pictures of the children of our church, under the words “I am a child of God,” with a mirror in the middle for all the children to look at themselves. It felt funny to see them all at once, like I was holding an official casting call that nobody knew about. My eyes fell upon this one child, and I happened to know who his mother was. His smile was sweet and genuine. Something inside me told me this was the boy. Long after I left that picture, I had the impression over and over again that this was the boy I was looking for in this painting, even though I did not know him personally.
It’s a little awkward coming over to someone’s house to ask “Hey there! Can I paint your son?” But what’s even more awkward is saying “Oh, he is going to pose with a man he’s never met before, and that man will look like Jesus next to him in the final painting.” Since this was my fifth time asking this, however, I think it was a little easier to ask, and his mother was so kind and open to the opportunity. I remember her talking about her son, and saying that he has a calm and sweet spirit, like an old soul. He is a light to their family. When I met him, I knew they were right, and that God was right in leading me here. His character was everything I had hoped would be and more. His demeanor was shy but sweet, and he had these curls that always made him look like a little cherub! He had a kind heart, and was not rude or coarse. What a special soul he was, and I felt his peace throughout the whole painting.
I had experienced some very difficult things a few months ago, and even though this painting was ready to paint, I struggled emotionally to pick up the brush, the fork, the laundry, my whole self. I became frail both in body and in spirit, and nobody really knew but my husband and God. When I finally was able to pick myself up and begin again, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to paint because my emotions are strongly connected to my artwork. I dug down deep, so deep, and I asked God to be with me every day, every hour, and to guide my hand and help me heal. A woman from my church offered every Tuesday to watch my 2 year old son so I could paint, and I could share this painting with all of you. What a gift those Tuesdays were. The painting was slow, but I could see progress each time I finished a session. It was as though every time I painted, a little part of me was healing.



The boy’s expression is a slight, peaceful smile, and his eyes look back at you and say “It’s ok, you are safe, you’ll make it through.” What I learned from this painting will be different from your own feelings, but what I felt is that we are all children of light, and we find profound peace in our soul when we surround ourselves in places and people of light. Things that are uplifting and kind, places that are bright and peaceful. We are all children of a God in Heaven who loves us, and His love for us is so deep. He offers us many gifts to give us, if only we humbly ask of them: Of grace. Of forgiveness. Of strength. Of love, Of hope. Of healing, Of peace. Each of those words I deeply felt in my heart these past six months, and a little child led me through it.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
John 12:36 “While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.”
I have hope for tomorrow, and I am so grateful for the gift of this life, and this gift from my heart to yours. Happy Easter, everyone!A sincere thank you to the people involved in this painting:
Christine, Brent, Samuel and AshleyAnd Karin, Monique, Jennifer, Catalina for watching my son while I painted.All my love,