The Red Poppy Fields

Claude Monet
Poppy Fields

It is human nature to be well defined, but Jesus was unrecognizable. You can’t put a curfew on God or lock him out of your heart. He must get in,

The Red Poppy Fields

Have you ever tried to move
with four trailers and a big dog
without a truck

just a fork in the road
put my finger down on a promise
this whole world is my home

a thousand miles beyond that in mind
every day is one tick behind
when I write myself to remind
God can provide at any time

— §tacy §weeney

A Chance for Everyone With You

Little River, Mentone, Alabama, 1/20/2020. Photograph by Stacy Sweeney

There were snow flurries in the forecast that MLK holiday, hiking and writing in Mentone, Alabama. My current troubles were echoing what the singer-songwriter, Joe Henry, remarks from the January 11th, 2020, On Being conversation, “Welcoming Flies at the Picnic.

A Chance for Everyone With You
You search the weather for a way to
dress in the world,
assessing what the forecast demands and what it holds.
It is January and the temperature is falling toward zero.
Suddenly the very essence of what being comfortable means
has been taken from you.
Your capacity to forage for shelter and warmth plunges by half,
meaning that you could face the risk of frostbite or exposure to toxic mold.
What you really have is one ultimate destination
through that grand atmosphere with her weird performances
that you hope to re-capture with pastel on paper.
An eye witness from this one tiny window,
you greet the morning sun and wish a “good night” to the stars.
Then you notice the winter trees are all shivering,
stripped of their superficial marks and features,
and you feel somehow that you belong,
complete in the forest and forecast unleashed,
no longer looking for a change in weather,
no longer working out a clear preference of what you want to happen,
but an invitation to walk with your whole self.
You are different now than you can ponder or realize.

You say one day is ours for the day’s need,
indeed, every day you surprise
with the very way you exercise
the sun.
You try to win everyone on your side,
even those astrologers we despise,
who disguise the good in you,
and thank you, because of that
there is a chance for everyone with You.
~ §tacy §weeney

January 5, 2020 ~ The Fall of Babylon

Whistler | Nocturne: Black and Gold – The Rag Shop

January 5, 2020 ~ The Fall of Babylon
Story @ Revelation Chapter 17 & 18

This gloomy painting shows that I am less confident that I understand Revelation. It’s complexity gets deeper and deeper as I plunge into the darkness.

In chapter 17, I see a glimpse of the called and chosen and faithful ones who follow the beautiful character of God, who are more and more alienated, who see more and more light in uniting with kindred spirits, and who have much more in common than what separates us.

— §tacy §weeney

January 4, 2020 ~ The Song of Moses and of the Lamb

Whistler | Nocturne: Grey and Gold, Canal Holland

January 4, 2020 ~ The Song of Moses and of the Lamb
Story @ Revelation Chapters 15 & 16

Whistler is picking up on the images found in Revelation whether intentional or not. This obscure painting is reminiscent of God’s power and glory and what seems to be a sea of glass mingled with fire.

Look around the world today. May we move in God’s direction so events at the end will not take us out.

— §tacy §weeney

January 3, 2020 ~ God’s Everlasting Gospel

Whistler | The White Symphony: Three Girls
circa 1868-circa 1878
Oil paint on canvas
46.4 x 61.6 cms | 18 1/4 x 24 1/4 ins
Tate Gallery | London | United Kingdom

January 3, 2020 ~ God’s Everlasting Gospel

This painting shows the stewards and protectors of creation, that the Everlasting Gospel is about Creator God; kind, passionate, gracious and merciful, that fills me with awe and wonder. What kind of God do you serve?

In context of the three angels, the world is still in play. Verse 14:7  is the most important text in the book of Revelation. It is the very center – of the center – of the center of the book, the chiasm, in Hebrew thinking (Paulien, 2019). This kind of literary arrangement serves to highlight the main point: A call to worship the Creator, a God worth proclaiming to the world in a loud voice, “The White Symphony: Three Girls.”

— §tacy §weeney

January 2, 2020 ~ Satan and His Two Allies

Whistler | Red and Black | 1884 |  WATERCOLOR | Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University | Cambridge United States

January 2, 2020 ~ Satan and His Two Allies

In the last days, it is Satan’s strategy to set up a counterfeit Trinity: a counterfeit of the character of God, a counterfeit of Jesus Christ and a counterfeit of the work of the Spirit.  God is always portrayed in threes in the book of Revelation and here the enemies of God are also portrayed in threes.

This watercolor, “Red and Black,” of 1883 expresses a time of confusion and deception such as the world has never seen. It is a counterfeit copy of the original oil painting, “Harmony in Flesh Colour and Red,” painted 14 years earlier in 1869 by the same artist, James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

The color red is to remind us to prepare our hearts for the great climax that is yet to come,

— §tacy §weeney

January 1, 2020 ~ The Dragon, a Defeated Enemy

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Whistler | The Butcher’s Shop

January 1, 2020 ~ The Dragon, a Defeated Enemy
Story @ Revelation chapter 12

The common image of a dragon is repeated over and over and over again as I visualize through a sequence of events in Revelation chapter 12. In this painting, I see the dragon’s final movement in the course of human history – Whistler’s, “The Butcher’s Shop.”

If you believe that God is in control, you can relax a little and enjoy the biggest story ever told. In the end, God wins the final war on Earth.

I did not want to magnify the dragon’s power on New Year’s Day. On the other hand, there is danger in denying not just the reality of the dragon’s power but the reality of his very existence.

“Religion is a beautiful thing; It’s what people do when they sense the presence of God in their midst. If we believe in a cosmic conflict, God is at work in every religion. and Satan is at work in every religion.”
— John Paulien

— §tacy §weeney