I think I mentioned the Connect weekend earlier in June.
During the course of it, I attempted three pieces of artwork. Pictures of people are one of my weak points, so I abandoned my attempt to draw a man in armour (God’s armour) standing on top of a hill, holding a staff with what I call the Banner of the Lion and the Lamb – the banner itself is red, with a lamb and a lion either side of the cross.
Having abandoned that as a bad job (if anyone would like to draw it for me, please do), I did a smaller one of the banner itself and the words “I will stand under the banner of the Lion and the Lamb, the banner of truth and love” or something.
The other one I drew was a desert scene, with a river flowing right through it and green spreading either side, with trees and flowers. I tried looking for the Bible reference, and found one somewhere in Isaiah, but it was the wrong one.
The correct one is Isaiah 35:
ISA 35:1 The desert and the
parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
ISA 35:3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
ISA 35:4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
ISA 35:5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
ISA 35:6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
ISA 35:7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
ISA 35:8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
ISA 35:9 No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
ISA 35:10 and the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
This was read a couple of times at Streetreach, and it is so full of hope for Belfast, which is probably best described as exactly that – a desert waiting for rivers to flow and bring life back to it.
We keep praying, waiting and watching. It’s going to happen.
(just don’t ask me when)