For a while, I have been collecting pieces of driftwood and using them to make pictures or other objects. For some reason (I’m not exactly sure why), I felt compelled this time, to use the driftwood on a cross shape and the idea just evolved from there. It partly seemed to be the right thing to do to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the formation of Faversham Baptist Church in 2017.
I started by making a cross shape using ‘ordinary’ wood and then decided to paint this gold before then sticking the driftwood to it. Before adding the driftwood, it struck me that on the one hand the golden cross looked quite beautiful – it reminded me in its’ original form, of a larger version of the type of gold cross that a person might have on a chain around their neck. I was almost reluctant to add the driftwood, but decided to do so as planned because I felt that there was a significance in the broken wood covering or ‘hiding’ the ‘treasure’ beneath. When Jesus died on a cross (a method of execution used by the Romans), people at the time (and since) thought that that was ‘it’ – a man had died – hope had died – and that was the end. In fact, this was all part of God’s plan – Jesus knew it would happen – He didn’t just die, but three days later was raised to life to take away all our sin and brokenness. Death was defeated: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
This got me thinking that it was therefore right to cover up the golden cross with the driftwood, as perhaps somehow the ‘driftwood version’ of the cross being made up of ‘random’ pieces of broken wood might represent several things:
• Jesus’ body broken for us
• The ‘shards of pain’ that He suffered for us
• People also suffer (Jesus understands and wants to stand with us in our pain)
• Jesus was abandoned and rejected, yet is God in human form
• We can sometimes feel abandoned and rejected, but to God, each of us is unique and valued by Him
• What can seem broken can be made whole and beautiful in Christ
• It also reminds me of what the Apostle Paul said about the Church – referring to it as he did as the ‘Body of Christ’: So in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another (Romans 12:5)
‘Hidden treasure’ or ‘treasure revealed’?