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Unstained

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"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27

Other translations use words like “unspotted” “unpolluted” and “refusing the let the World corrupt you” where the NIV uses the word “unstained.”  Whatever you want to call it - the more I meditate on this passage the harder I realize this task is. Not ONLY do we do things to ourselves that allow “stains” on lives, but so many around us “stain” or “wound” us as well. And even more, we are left reconciling that some of these people intend to cause pain/harm/Sin/wounding/corruption and some do not....and ONLY the Lord knows their hearts and intentions.  We walk around all day, everyday open to these potential stains. How do we keep ourselves clean?

These canvases have been in the studio for over a month now - changing fairly drastically over time - as I have let these words sink in. They started with the stains: Coffee, ink, paint, pen, pastel. And, I lived with the stains for a while... one day I realized the only way to keep the stains from setting in was to let Christ wash over them. I needed to allow Him to heal my heartache, to change the perspective on my pain, and I needed help praying for those who have wounded me instead of carrying the burden of bitterness. 

So painted over the darkness with bright light.

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