Just last month I had the opportunity to visit numerous Church History sites for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. On a Saturday afternoon in May, we visited the Peter Whitmer home. That Saturday had been a difficult day for me and and I just wasn't sure what to expect. We went on a tour of the home and then came back and watched a video. Because we had arrived just after a tour had started, we had missed the beginning of the tour and asked to have it at the end. My eyes wandered during that point, and fell upon a painting that I could not take my eyes off. It was incredible.
This picture was one of Christ, but it was different than any other painting I had seen in my life. Yes, it still looked like him, but there was something different. Was it the eyes? The way it was painted? The way it showed his attributes? The answer, I believe, is all of the above. It impacted me. I hesitate to post a picture of it because of copyright laws, but have attached a few links here so that you can see it.
This is from a Yahoo! image search. It is the very first one.
This is one to the artist's website. If you select the first label that says portraits. As of the time of writing this, it is on the third row, the second one in.
There are some links to it on Pintrest and other sites, but these are the links I have.
I invite you to really look at this portrait and let it speak to you. As I looked at it, the words of a hymn came to mind: "Bruised, broken torn for us", I later found out that the name of this painting is "Jesus of Nazareth" which is the hymn from which the above-line came from.
The style that he painted this picture had a crackled or broken technique. This is s style that I have no seen on a picture of Christ, but yet is so fitting. Quoting from Isaiah 53:5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for iniquities:" Though this picture is of Christ as a living being, he was still broken, in a way.
Look at his eyes. They are soft and caring. They are filled with light. Yet, in my mind, they show sadness and weariness. The amazing thing, as I said before, is that they are still filled with light. There is a sense of peace that emanates from them.
This picture shows a humble Son who has performed his Father's will. It shows perfect love, kindness, hope, diligence, and so much more.
It reminded me that all we, like Him, have been bruised and broken. Many of us have been led astray. Trials and difficulties have come. Every single person has been bruised or broken at one moment or another. We all can still retain the light in our eyes and become like our Savior, for he was bruised and broken far worse than anyone can imagine. Yet he still carried that light with him.
This motivated me. At a time when I was feeling very broken and unsure if my efforts to move forward were worth it, the answer was found hanging on the wall. A picture so full of impact showing He has overcome and so can I.