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Prayer Painting

Painting as a form of Prayer for the People of Sierra Leone.

prayer painting

This deliberately broken figure of the Risen Christ emerged during a silent retreat. I find that painting takes me beyond words, in this instance it was an attempt to pray for the people suffering violence at the hands of the Rebel forces in Sierra Leone. Members of our congregation were closely caught up in the horror of their families living through this violence, and a relative seeking a few weeks respite told how she was part of a small group who felt called to set up homes to care for the children whose limbs had been cut off by the rebels.

I found myself listening, but recoiling in horror and the only way for me to pray was to paint. I tried to focus on this suffering within the Body of Christ, brought through from despair to glimmerings of hope.

The horror is expressed through a screaming figure and a broken pile of hands, arms and legs, taken up into the Risen Christ. The yellow background symbolises the power of prayer to lead those trying to heal and transform, to bring some good out of evil.

As I struggled with the questions Why ? and Where are You in all this ? I found myself painting a Risen Christ identifying with, caught up and immersed in the midst of it all.