And the People of God Lived in Tents

John Singer Sargent | 1856-1925 | Fumée d’Ambris Gris  1880 | 139.1 x 94 cms | 54 3/4 x 37 ins| Oil on canvas  Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute | Williamstown United States

This is our fifth year running an organic farm and urban youth agricultural training center, and everything is turned upside down, being pulled by a power only I can be thankful for. This horse barn we live in is not our home, but it is the center of a horse ranch and a huge forestry operation. While hosting our small program sounds admirable, it is met with unexpected proximity, liability, and life changing issues. In fact, opportunities look like barriers. After months of misgiving, prayer and networking, liability insurance is acquired. The property owners change their minds again, and want to use what they have for God and support our work, purchasing an additional 10 acres here on forestry trail for our young farmers/campers to dwell – in tents, and all is well. And the people of God lived in tents. Abraham did it.
~ §tacy §weeney

Good and Gorgeous Land

John Singer Sargent | 1856-1925 | American painter, draftsman, sculptor, portraitist, muralist, watercolorist and guitarist | Princess Nouronihar | 1910 57.2 x 71.1 cms | 22 1/2 x 28 ins | Oil on canvas  | Tel Aviv Museum of Art | Tel Aviv | Israel

Good and Gorgeous Land

All the wealth of heaven and earth is in your hands
put us in possession of a good and gorgeous land

sand to sand and good and ready as the morning
my feet are moving and I don’t know the end which I’m going

I am surprised by the obstacles of seeking first the kingdom
intimacy must be my cross I speak a word of wisdom

shot through and through with unreal expectations
surely faith and sincerity beyond my natural inclinations

I can not make my own heart beat, but I can grieve my own soul
I wonder what things do blind me from a heartfelt devotion

overwhelmed with my little life I hold heavy yoke
then I heard loud thunder tones for my sake the spirit spoke

the rain and clouds did part when I gave my soul to sorrow
soft sighing palms I am a pilgrim of a willow

I admit it’s hard to find the heights from this side of heaven
when I use the power of no, now, and never
but when I face the cross I’m taken to yes and forever

~ §tacy §weeney

Let There Be Light

John Singer Sargent
American painter, draftsman, sculptor, portraitist, muralist, watercolorist and guitarist
The Chess Game
circa 1907
69.9 x 55.3 cms | 27 1/2 x 21 3/4 ins
Oil on canvas
Harvard Club of New York
New York | United States

In the darkest hour, in the darkest knight
move me the world over and let there be light
when will my faith be turned into sight
teach me how to die well, I don’t want to fight

love has all the answers, lead me to look
love is too special to be buried in a book
but lounged in a landscape, echoed by a brook
genius is often overlooked, his hand I shook

~ §tacy §weeney