Arms of Love by Barbi Larkins

A Heart of Love in a Time of Hate

There have a been a few times when I have received a very clear picture in my head, a vision of something that I knew God wanted me to paint. This was one of those times.

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There have a been a few times when I have received a very clear picture in my head, a vision of something that I knew God wanted me to paint. This was one of those times. I’ve learned to pay attention to those images, because they always seem to be the ones that have most impact on people who see the finished paintings.

I stand in awe of God’s timing. When I first went in to church to start painting this picture, I found there had been a mix-up in communication, and I wasn’t due to paint until the following week. The week’s delay in starting this painting meant that it was completed the Sunday before my city of Christchurch was left reeling from a horrific crime of hate. A gunman, armed with an automatic weapon and a heart full of hate, stormed two mosques in our city, killing a total of 50 people and wounding about 50 more. If there was ever a time we needed to feel the arms of our Saviour around us, that was the time.

To be honest, I didn’t want to paint this. I thought it would look odd. I thought I wouldn’t have enough time in front of the church to make it work. When I first began to paint it, I discovered that I was missing a lot of the supplies that I normally use when I paint. I chuckled to myself, and said “God, if you want me to paint this, it’s all on you.” I think that’s just the way he wanted it.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Arms of Love by Barbi Larkins

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