A Home for Grace

When I started the “Painting Facebook Photos” series I looked at so many great photos. One of my friends told me about a friend of hers who lived in Kenya who took lovely photos of orphans. So I went to Kate’s Facebook page and to her blog and saw not only some beautiful photos, but a mother’s heart for her five bio children and the fifteen orphans she and her husband, Johnny have rescued. I painted their eldest “orphannomore” girl, Grace, and named the painting “The Shalom of Grace”.

I didn’t realize when I painted the series that all ten of the images I painted were really a study and a sort of mosaic of shalom, which means peace, but it also means rest, wholeness, safety and completeness as well as the process of all that. Painting Grace gave me an opportunity to see shalom from her perspective in a small way. I don’t know the depths of what she has gone through and won’t pretend to, but I know that she is now safe and in the process of healing and restoration because she is with people who love her and who are committed to care for her.

So in the spirit of shalom, I would like to help Kate and Johnny feed all those hungry mouths. I thought first of auctioning off the painting, but then only one person would have the opportunity to help. So instead, I’m going to give you an opportunity to help by having a drawing for it. If you donate $10 to them on their blog here your name will be put into the drawing. Your name will be added twice if you donate $20, three times if you donate $30, etc. No matter who wins the painting, everyone who gives will be able to help and give shalom. The drawing will begin today and end on Mother’s Day, May 13, at 9pm Alaska Time. You will be notified by email if you won and the painting will be mailed to you.

“The Shalom of Grace” original watercolor 10″x13″

I asked Kate what $10 would buy in Kenya and this was her reply:

“We can buy a thick blanket for a person in need.
Flour for a week or two
Almost 90 eggs (we use 35 eggs per egg meal)
8 lbs of meat (we usually use 4 lbs per meal)
2 lbs of butter
Medicines are relatively cheaper here, so that could buy malaria meds for one person.
40 avocados
15 lbs of tomatoes (we use about 10 lbs for spaghetti or chili)
25 large mangos
16 heads of cabbage”

Painting Facebook Photos 9

"The Shalom of Grace" watercolor

Her name is Grace. She is an orphan living in Kenya with Kate and Johnny who host an orphan home. There are also fourteen other children. Kate told me some of her story:

“We rescued her from an orphanage that made her work as a ‘maid’ for the home. She didn’t go to school and spent her days washing and cleaning for the other kids in the home. She was often beaten and just wanted out. Before going to that orphanage, her mother would leave her outside, not feed her, and beat her. So when she was six, a good Samaritan took her away from her crazy mother and put her in that orphanage.”

“Shalom” is a Hebrew word and although I don’t know many words in that language, this word is very special. In English we have words with many meanings, but this word has depth of meaning. From what I’ve learned, it means peace, but also restoration, wholeness, completeness, quietness, to be safe. But the incredible thing is that it also means the process and movement toward restoration, wholeness and completeness.

I called this piece “The Shalom of Grace” because she is at peace and safe in the love of her new family and she is in the process of restoration and wholeness. Here is a photo of Grace with her family, a picture of shalom.

Only one more painting left in this series. I still haven’t decided on which photograph I’ll choose. There were so very many wonderful images of my Facebook friends. Your comments on this blog and in person have been so encouraging. Thank you so very, very much.