She Turned and…

It’s Easter, everyone!!…oh, but it was not so familiar to me. Easter is not so familiar in Japan as Christmas, St.Valentine Day or Halloween.

Now I know Easter is the day to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.
Among the stories of the resurrection in 4 Godspels, I like John’s description best.
Mary Magdalene was the first to meet Jesus having risen again. At first she did not recognize him, assuming the man who had talked to her, as a watchman of the grave of her master. When Jesus called her name, she turned back to Him and at last knew it was He.

I started to draw this scene. First I draw Mary as a woman covering her head with a scarf.

But wait, there are many pictures describing this beloved scene, by much better painters in the world, that a veiled woman turning back and being astonished to see the holy man.
I should draw the picture in such a way more characteristic to me. For example, to draw people with the basic figure. No hairs, no face, no clothes.

That’s too bad. The smaller person does not look at the larger one.

I imagine how she(the smaller person) felt if she heard from the back the voice of whom she had wanted to see most.
She must have been attracted strongly, as if she were pulled at her hairs back. Her head must bent backward, like this:


Her head seems better, but I struggled for some time, how to set her limbs to express better how she feels.

Mmmm, she doesn’t seem looking “back” at him.

So I changed my mind to draw her head to face direct to Him, whereas her legs are tangling with each other by her surprise.

“Hey, you are my master, aren’t you?”

“Shall we dance, my master?”

Not like that!…Then I got an idea. What if her arms were thrust forward, to express her “fear” for the unexpected incident?

Through further struggling, I adopted my previous idea again, that her head should be bent back, but drew more realistic. Also her legs should be less balanced, for she might have been fainting with her surprise.

Then today’s picture is here.

I let Him wearing the halo, but only backwards, for if His face glowed, it would be ambiguous, where she was looking at, like this:

Happy Easter!

Advertisements

Vision

The man is aged. He looks thin and always wears an worn jacket with many patches. He is one of the leaders in our church.

He has been managing the church for more then 20 years. This church started as a daughter church of the larger one in the next city. It was at first a weekly activity using a community room of the city hall. Then the people rent an office room in a building. And then they found a 3-storied building close to the station and bought it, which is now where we gather to pray and learn.

This building is yet so small that there are only 40 folding chairs for the seats in the prayer hall. There is no built-in stage for the preach. No organ, but small pianos.

Shouldn’t we be satisfied with such small but pleasant building?

“No,” he says. “The church is not a clubhouse. It’s not ours but our God’s. We have to have the vision for a better building for the better mission.”

And what shall we do for it?

“Just keep your vision. Exchange our visions. Keep renewing them. So our Lord shows what we shall do.”

Where there is no vision, the people perish:(Proverbs 29:18)

is his slogan. “Not only mine. It is the spirit inherited from out mother church.” he says.

“I always ask myself, whether we are ready for the chance, that an estate beyond our imagination would be suddenly offered to us”
“Beyond our imagination?”
“Unbelievably gorgeous and also low-cost”

“Yes, he’s thinking of a new building all the time” say his fellows. He is not frustrated in the present building, nor is he ambitious for the bigger management. He just keeps the vision. But he keeps it every day, every time. Isn’t it a wonderful life as a christian? Isn’t he blessed?

“Our vision for 2013 is” he declared in the annual conference in our church, which was held last Sunday. “A NEW BUILDING (and its land if necessary) ”
“The notification in the parentis means that we have the option of reforming the present building.” he explained.

In the next meeting I will add 100 yen more to my usual donation, specifying it for the new building(and its land if necessary).

Calvary

Last Sunday was the Palm Sunday. In the prayer meeting two women sang a hymn in duet. The soprano was Eiko-san and the alto Kumi-san, whom I have once described here.
The hymn described Christ’s death on the Cross.

The first and second verses narrated the Lord carried the Cross to the Calvary hill and died on the Cross in agony, but praying to His Father for the sinners on the earth. The refrain was like this:

How precious the Lord is!
I look up to Him on the Cross.
He was wound and bleed to death for me.

Possibly I could see Eiko-san, the soprano, had tears in her eyes, in singing the refrain.

The third verse praised the Redeemer and His love. Then the way they sung changed much happier, that moved me so much. Even the ambient in the room seemed to turn brighter. It was surprising to me, that they expressed sorrow and joy so vividly through one song.

Soon after that I met with Kumi-san and told how I enjoyed their song.
She told me: “Thank you! We have sung that song every Palm Sunday for many years. Then Eiko-chan always have tears within the first two verses. As you told the third verse is to change the atmosphere happier, so I have to nudge on her, Hey, cheer up, we’re in the third verse!…but I myself have difficulty in holding the tears.”
“We think this song is much suitable in this week of the year. I’m glad you sing it too, with a lot of love to Him in your heart,” so told she to me.

Today

My work is progressing further. Tomorrow I will finish all that I have to finish in March.

In such more relaxed situation I could meet today, which is the great day for me. In the same day last year, God visited me.

At that time I was involved in many troubles with people around me, and I thought myself the root of all evil. With such broken heart I happened to find in my room a small thing(a photo, a key holder, a pencil or something quite trivial) which reminded me of the old day as I had been so young and happy and optimistic.

“Oh, what a happy day it was…”
I told to myself. I could fall deeper into sorrow, with comparing myself with the happiness in the past. But suddenly I heart was filled with something so warm and beautiful.

Why am I feel so happy as I am now, in spite of such miserable situation? I asked myself. Who has put in my heart such warm thing?

Soon I found the answer:”It must be God! This must be so called as salvation!”

And the Bible was in my bookshelf. It was more than 20 years ago that a friend of mine gave it to me. I had read it a few times, just for fun.

Hence I read the Bible again, and then went to the church in the neighborhood, and now I am walking with my Lord.

This year I was much afraid that I might forget what a great day it is, and spend the day with complaint or trivial annoyances. But my Lord had bound me nice and tight to the memory of the day.
And what will I do for the celebration? I am no idea better than giving Him my prayer. But it might be the best thing to do.

神様、1年間どうもありがとうございました。
今後ともどうぞよろしくお願いいたします。
イエス様のお名前によって、お祈りいたします。

Thank You my Lord for the wonderful 365 days You gave to me.
May You stand by me all the way.
I pray to you in the name of Jesus.

Beyond

Well, it was a shame, I was so long absent from the blog. But I’m grateful, that it was because I had had a lot of work to do. After publishing my 6-month spent book, I had supposed I would be left with less jobs. But indeed I was asked a lot, including revising an old work. As usual, each work was a bit more than my ability, so my struggle was hard. Yesterday I completed the fourth hardest article and now two small ones are left.

Indeed I believe it was God’s work to have given such works, which turned my attention away from various anxieties.

On the other hand (a great hand,) He gave me the place to pray for the disaster’s victims on its 2nd anniversary, on March 11th.
After the meeting I walked home with one of the people in the church, who lived in the neighborhood. We both thanked that we were not left alone on that sad day.

At a small crossroad I turned my eyes to the left hand, where there was the other road, leading to the corner of another T-junction. There I was much impressed by the color of the late afternoon sky.

Today I challenged a new kind of drawing: scenery. I wanted to draw the scene at the left hand of the crossroad.

But alas, I did remember very few of the detail, though it was the way I walk along every day. What a poor attention I had paid each time I went there!

I had a difficulty in drawing a complete scenery. I even attempted to create a fictional picture with artificial houses and trees…

Then the Lord told me: “Leave it blank, if you did not see it.”

Ah yes! I was not going to draw an artwork, but an expression of my heart and mind. Thus I should not draw what was not in me.

This is what was left in my heart.

Why, it looks rather realistic to me! If I added unreal things in order to complete an artwork, I would have not tell myself what I had drawn.

OK, begin with the two more articles left.

Elijah’s Strives

Today I was making my room in order, during which I found a document, which was written by may pastor, about whom I wrote in yesterday’s post “YSub.

He wrote about Elijah. Once I had read it and found it wonderful, and today I read it again and again found wonderful. I’d like to present it in English.

It is written about the episode, that Elijah won over prophets worshipping other god in the competition to call their gods to bring them fire.

Elijah’s God was, as you know, Hebrews’ Lord and our Christ’s Father. For other god I will not denote the name, because it is no good to figure out the particular “Enemy god.”
What we should know is that in Elijah’s era, kings of Israel forget their God, who had loved them all the time, and encouraged their people to worship other god for less discipline and more material profits.

The below is my pastor’s explanation.

Elijah’s Strives

Today we learn what Elijah showed us through his strives. It’s a famous story and often told simply as “Justice done.” But let’s read it for more.

1)Against the religion bound to the regime: Showing his God without fear of the king
The king and his wife supported priests and prophets worshipping other God. The regime and religion count on each other and shared their profits. As Israel was growing in prosperity, they began to accept one god to another. The Bible shows through Elijah the strive against profit-oriented religions.

2)Against the ambiguous people: Without fear of the apathy
 Elijah fought also against “silent people.” He claims to the people to clarify whom they worship. But they keep silent. Some were indifferent to belief, others were afraid of the regime, or wanted to avoid conflicts over beliefs among them. But the Bible, through Elijah, asks people for the decision.

3)Has Elijah really won? : His sin and salvation
After Elijah won over the enemy prophets, he murdered all of them. Should he be justified? No, we don’t agree any murder. Elijah might have wanted to confirm his God’s dominance, but at last he did the same crime as the regime, who had killed his friend prophets.
Here we can see Elijah to be sinner himself. Even a prophets isn’t perfect. Any human can save people. People had to wait for the perfect salvation by God Himself, namely sending His only Son Jesus Christ. The Prophet Elijah is also freed from his sin by our Saver, Jesus Christ.

Of course, today I draw Elijah.
But there was a problem. I don’t know how he looked like!
Then my Lord gave me the idea again: “Behold, your Elijah must call fire, which can screen him.”

Ah yes!

He looks calling not only the fire but his salvation, doesn’t he? That what I had intended by myself. I must have been helped.

YSub

On Saturday morning, I went to the church for a little thing to do. There was another meeting there. I took a photo of people there, just for fun of myself.
In the afternoon I overviewed the photo and found there was our pastor in it. He was dressed with daily garments. On the back of his jacket I found the Logo of Ringo Starr printed.

That reminded me that he told last week he would like to go Ringo’s live in Tokio.

Today I asked him, if he went.
He answered with a full smile: “Yes we did! I mean, my wife and I”
His wife is pastor, too.
“It was a very good concert. We sang Yellow Submarine together”
And he waved his hands in V-sign, which means in Japan the peace sign.
I imagine how they enjoyed the evening:

The two pastors work very hard every day to devote themselves to God and His people, so it was very nice of Him to give them a time to enjoy together. On weekdays the husband wife live and work in different church. May He bind them all the time through His Spirit.