Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
… and no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to tread on the heights.
This is my second version of making art in response to the above passage from the Old Testament. This time, I did not use any words, but I restricted myself solely to painted papers. With the shapes and colors, I suggest the concept of the fields without crops, the animal pens empty and broken down, and the tree without buds or fruit. I have placed the hills off in the distance, representing the Lord enabling me to tread on the heights like a deer. Amidst this somber scene, I have the bird rejoicing while sitting in the fruitless tree.
This composition reminds me of the birds that sang each morning when I was in Nicaragua for two months. Rain or shine, they always, always got up and sang to the Lord at 4:30 in the morning. The rainy season began while I was there, and I remember going to bed one night thinking, “Well, tomorrow morning it will rain, and they will not sing, and I’ll finally get to sleep in a little.” You can imagine my surprise and wonder when, right on schedule, they sang just as loudly and fervently in the pouring, teaming rain. How can I not praise Him, even in the downpour? This was my lesson that morning, and so, I sing when I awake – no matter what is happening.