The Story Behind the Painting, "The Basket of Treasured Disgrace"
As I was creating this painting, I observed the paint strokes resembled a basket weave. I then saw in my mind’s eye Moses being lowered into the water in a basket by his mother (Exodus 2). Which made me realize there would be some concepts surrounding the life of Moses that I needed to explore.
The basket weaves I perceive in this painting have two strong, distinct color palettes. Which made me think of two stories that I mostly associate with Moses – on the yellow/orange side of the painting, I see this representing the burning bush (Exodus 3) and in the blue/purple/red colors of the other side, I see this representing the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14).
The Burning Bush The burning bush encounter from every angle to me is --- romantic. What would that be like to see a bush burning in the desert? And the fact that he was walking gave him time to observe the bush was on fire yet not being consumed. In our modern world of hurried transportation, we most likely would see a bush on fire and merely rush on past it — never perceiving its insignificance to our lives, or more accurately — we don’t want to allow ourselves too much time to observe something that might interrupt our daily agenda or to do list. So, we don’t stop, we don’t observe, we don’t ponder. I must ask myself the question; are there “burning bushes” in my life in which God is trying to arouse my curiosity simply to draw me closer so he could speak to me? Speak profoundly to me? It is worth my time to examine this….
The Parting of the Red Sea The parting of the Red Sea must have been a magnificent splendor to experience firsthand! God showing off that he is in fact the owner and commander of the Sea — all seas. What glory. What awe. What a spectacular event to have seen and experienced. Just imagine; walking - step by step by step upon dry ground for miles as you crossed with two ominous, imposing, giant walls of sea water on either side of you. How long did it take? Did they wonder if the water would crash in on them? Did thy talk to each other while they walked? If so, what was the conversation? Could they see the sea creatures swimming in the walls of water like they were experiencing the first ever aquarium? And after they passed on to the other side, what was the sound of those two gigantic walls of water released from the grip of God and reunited as one body of water? What technically occurred in the supernatural realm to make that happen too? We know that God’s spoken words are used to shift and move all of creation. Did he speak to the waters “part and become a wall”? These are just some of my wonderings about this fantastic event in which God used Moses to facilitate.
Treasured Disgrace Which leads me to the last portion of painting title: Treasured Disgrace. Why in the world would anyone treasure disgrace of any kind? When I think of the life of Moses, I cannot help but think of the words written in the Hebrews 11 (considered the “Faith Chapter”) when describing Moses:
“By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:23-27, NIV
Wow!! What a beautiful thing to be said about any follower of Christ. What a role model he is for me, and for you. He had the spiritual wisdom and insight which enabled him to keep the disgrace of this world and the treasures of this world in proper perspective to the eternal glory and eternal treasure “because he was looking ahead to his reward”.
May I be found as one who, like Moses, treasured disgrace of this world. For that will mean I have successfully buried my heart, my most prized treasure, in heaven.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21, NIV