April 2010 - Vol. 39..


Unless Your Presence Goes with Me
acrylic painting by Jamie Treadwell
Where does adventure start? A lone kayaker turns and surveys the wilderness that stretches before him. He is at the point of decision – to turn and enter into an unknown adventure, or to hold back and stay in the comfort of the calm and familiar waters. For this kayaker, the distant landscape is both beautiful and intimidating. He appears as a fragile speck against the immensity of the wilderness.

Adventure starts in the heart, a decision for courage. And each one who sets out on an adventure faces a choice – to move forward in hope or to hold back in fear.

This painting is a metaphor for our life journey, and the choices we face on that journey. The title refers to Moses’ response to God as he faced his future as a leader, and his insistence that he could not go into it alone: “Unless your presence goes with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). Moses knew the strength and guidance of his walk with God. This promise of presence is the same promise that Jesus gives his disciples at the end of his earthly ministry “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

The imagery of this painting draws from my experience exploring the Inland Passage of Alaska in the summer of 2006. The landscape was wild and beautiful, awesome and inspirational – a landscape that captured something about the adventure of life.

[Jamie Treadwell is a noted artist who works in pastels, watercolors and acrylics. He is a member of The Servants of the Word, a lay missionary brotherhood of men living single for the Lord, and mission leader in the Sword of the Spirit. He is currently based in London, UK. Visit his art website to see more of his work. ]

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