Tuesday, March 27, 2012

courage covered canvas.

I know Amanda through college. We reconnected through the lovely vehicle of Facebook. She wrote the following letter to me there. 

Hi Kelly,
I really want one of your paintings for my friend Traci. I'm wondering if I can commission one? I've posted a lot about Traci's family recently. Her husband Ben was killed in Afghanistan lastmonth.Ben's brother Jeremy, one of my best friends, was killed 2 years ago in Afghanistan. I wouldn't have any idea for a theme, maybe you could pray about it? See what inspires you? I can tell you that one of her mantras recently is that you don't know how strong you are until you have no choice but to be strong. She really found God because of Ben and he's been such a spiritual influence for her. They were so in love with each other and an amazing couple. I'm not sure what else to tell you. All I know is that your paintings are so inspiring and I was hoping for something that would remind Traci of all the good things and to give her courage. Let me know what you think. Thanks!


I have known so many military friends in my life. However, I have never ever experienced the pain of losing one of those friends in the line of duty. Unthinkable actually, to have to walk that path. I could not go there emotionally in order to capture the feeling of loss and grief that needed to be in this canvas. I had to rely on the Spirit to take me there. 

So much of this process is just weird to type out for you. Like how when I read the letter from Amanda I "saw" boots and sandals almost immediately. I happened to have visited the library a few days before Amanda wrote me, even though I had taken to not reading fiction books for some time. I picked up a copy of a book about a military family. This book was very well written and led me on a journey of my heart that had me weeping with every turn of the page.  Is it possible that God allowed me to read this particular book for Traci? I'll let you decide.  Our church is going through the book of 1 John and so daily I was already studying about how God's love looks in a daily walk. As you can see one thing stacked up on another and out came a canvas designed by God, using my hands to remind Traci that she can follow Ben's example of sacrificial giving with courage and ultimately following Jesus's example of having no fear in love. 

Thank you Amanda.  You are a good friend and a brave solider yourself. I pray you are as blessed with this gift to Traci as I was... and thank you for your service to our country  as well. Our military families need our constant prayer. They sacrifice much for us.  

To God be the glory. 

1 comment:

Helen said...

This is amazing! Makes me want to cry, the e-mail about Traci from Amanda and this painting.