The Dark Wood

March 12 th 2010

Digital Collage Painting
20" x 16"
2010

This idyllic storybook scene came into being through the slow build up and blending of almost 50 unique photographs and layers in Photoshop. I was again enjoying my annual read of Amy Carmichael's Gold by Moonlight when I was asked to submit something for 1000 Words and my mind was relishing and feeding on the imagery of her chapter on The Dark Wood.

Madeleine L'Engle said, "Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of the mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself." To all of us there come times when the path of life trails out of the sunny azure spaces into the shade of the dark wood. At different times it may be a forest of trial, or doubt; of grief or just that plain drab dullness that so easily shrouds us on our sojourn here.

The special blessing of the dark wood (as I have learned too slowly) is that its very density and darkness makes that Word—a lamp to our feet—so much more necessary. Suddenly we can be surprised by the tender comforts that our Father has strewn for us in the very deepest corners of gloom. The assured shaft of piercing sunlight; the bubbling fountain of crystal bringing softly the music of what awaits you just a little farther on—beyond the dark wood: the joy that cometh in the morning—your valley of Berachah (2 Chronicles 20:26). The wide open valley of blessing and gladness.

So harness your passion, your anguish, uncertainty, doubt and despair and 'gird up the loins of your mind, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ' (1 Peter 1:13) for just a little farther on . . . the day is breaking.

Topics: Arts
 

Colin Campbell is an artist, designer and photographer raised in the Outer Hebrides and now running his own design business from the picturesque village of Inverkip on the Clyde coast in Scotland.

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