The Conversion on the Way to Damascus- Caravaggio
This painting attracted me the first time I saw it when I was studying art history my freshman year of college. My faith has always been an all encompassing sort of thing for me. I seem to grasp the greatness of the Gospel best when I can see it in the beauty of art, literature, and song (just to name a few.) This has brought me to the painting you see to your left. Saul's dramatic conversion and the passionate life of faith that followed is challenging to me. My faith journey has been far less astounding than that of Saul's, at least to the average person. My journey so far has brought me from the formative years of my faith to a new knowledge of the greatness of God.
I grew up in the church as the daughter of a pastor and I came to follow the Lord at an early age. Over the years, as I grew, my faith and knowledge of what it means to be a Christian began to blossom. I remember my high school years to be the most life changing and influential part of my foundation as a believer. I was blessed to be a part of a phenomenal youth group led by a couple who have lived a life of utter abandonment to the Lord. Even now I am so inspired by their faith. During that time of growth I was stretched and challenged in more ways than I ever imagined.
College proved to be far more daunting. I went through a lot of trials during my four years and most of them centered around learning who I was in Christ. Those years were filled with trials of loneliness, insecurity, questioning and spiritual drought. God's faithfulness during that time is still humbling to me and despite the fact that these issues still come up from time to time I am reminded every day that my foundation is secure.
Lately in my walk with the Lord He has been revealing himself in new ways. Over the past few months God has challenged the box I placed around him. This box appeared without my knowledge and before I realized it I had reduced God to some minor character with little power who just desired me to follow a set of rules. I never intended this to be the case but my faith became something I put on Sunday mornings and struggled to live up to during the week. Through reading a series of books and getting back into the Bible daily God shook me out of my stupor and opened my eyes to who He is. He is a God of power and passion. Our God does dramatic things. He uses flashes of light to get the attention of his creation and just like the blinding of Saul, God dramatically intervenes to save the lives of his created people. Christ's death on the cross was more than a gesture of love it was the moment of Christ's greatest glory and God's ultimate justice. The hideousness of our sin could only be atoned for by the sacrifice of the One who was without sin. Praise be to God that His blood covers over a multitude of sins! I pray that my encouter with the Lord of all creation will remain fresh in my mind and that His amazing grace would stir me to a life full of worship, and a heart overflowing with a passion to tell others of the gift of Christ!