Shroud of Turin
Acrylic on Canvas
18” x 30” x 1”
"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
I grew up in a Christian home going to church every Sunday. Sundays gave me a stomachache. Every night I remember praying for Jesus to save me from my life. Quotes from the bible were used to frighten me and needless to say, I felt neither support from Jesus nor any good person I knew. Day after day facing the torture of my life, night after night praying with no rescue mission in sight, I ended up with anger issues at Jesus.
In the summer of 1997 my son and I had just returned home from our first Native American Sundance ceremony. I was in my studio thumbing through a book, I had not felt inspired to read before now “My Road to the Sundance,” by Manny Twofeathers, curiously I purchased it a few years prior, never realizing I would ever really attend a Native American Sundance.
At one point I glanced up through my easel to see the light cast a shadow on the wall of three crosses like that of the crucifixion. I paused for a moment thinking of Jesus and said out loud, “What are you doing here?” with a bit of an attitude and quite full of myself. I went back to thumbing through the book and the next line I read, “Wasn’t Jesus also a Sundancer of sorts? He was willing to sacrifice himself so the world would evolve into a better place. This is the reason Native Americans do the Sundance, in order to sacrifice themselves through fasting and suffering as a prayer to evolve spiritually.”
Chills covered my body and I was humbled in the face of my shadow, here on the wall in the form of three crosses. I knew Jesus Christ would be my next painting with intention to heal this buried anger I had ignored to a fester. When I paint a portrait I’ve learned that I fall in love, in truth, in light of the soul with whom I bring onto the canvas.
The painting, “Shroud of Turin” is depicted as the typical version of Jesus Christ and the cross suffering for our sins as I saw the shadow on my wall that night back in 1997. The red represents His blood of life and supports awakening in its purifying aspects and the gold is wisdom refined in the temple body mastered through inner alchemy. His eyes are closed in reverence and He prays, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
I believe Jesus’ mission in part was to redeem people, to love people unconditionally into goodness, to save people from the distress and errors of their ways and to walk as an example of Forgiveness.
The trauma for me ran deep and although I healed a lot in painting Shroud of Turin, I also practice forgiveness prayers, sometimes several times a day. I have found that Forgiveness is the greatest gift I can give my self.
Today, I have found and continue to have forgiveness for myself and all who have harmed me. Now, I have a greater understanding that Jesus was always with me. He never abandoned me, I am here today, I survived and I have cultivated tools from my difficult journey, which are precious, powerful and indispensable. My art is one of these gifts! I Love Jesus Christ with all my heart.