28And when he had said these things,he went on ahead,going up to Jerusalem. 29When he drew near to Bethphage andBethany, atthe mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied,on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.'” 32So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives— the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent,the very stones would cry out.”
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But nowthey are hidden from your eyes. 43For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of yourvisitation.”
I rejoice over this past weekend. We are on fall break, and it is glorious. While being on break is always nice, spending the weekend at home, with two of my favorite people (my boyfriend Dan, and my wonderful friend Kate) just about knocked me over with all of the grace showered down.
We went to the Art Sanctuary in Martinsville on our way home. I expected to see Nancy, my high school art teacher there (and we did), but what I didn’t expect was to meet, and be so blessed by a woman named Tilly.
After some small talk about her pottery, we found out that she is Jewish after reading a quote she had written on a mirror in the tiny studio “Thou God seest me.” I wanted to know why she had written that, so I asked. What I didn’t expect was the next hour (who knows how long!) of conversation.
This woman lived in Holland during WWII. As Jews, their lives were in danger. Tilly and her family actually lived near where Corrie Ten Boom lived. (She hasn’t read the book “The Hiding Place” yet because it hits too close to home.) Her father fought in the underground, and the family hid in a Catholic church in Holland. They survived the war and headed to the states. It was here that she became a Christian (after being a Catholic, and a Jew) as an adult when her daughter walked into the house and told Tilly that she was “born again”. Tilly, wanting to know what these people at the Martinsville Ministry center had brainwashed her daughter with, marched into the center, only to come back out a changed, soul-transformed woman.
She had found Christ, and is now a Messianic Jew.
Because of her daughter’s witness, Tilly, and the rest of her family became born-again believers. Even her father, the man who had fought in the underground eventually believed before his death.
But the story gets even cooler.
I had been told by Nancy (my high school art teacher) that she had been trained to paint by an old dutch painter. I had accepted that, and kind of forgotten about it. I didn’t know who that man was.
But now I do.
That man was Tilly’s father. I met the woman whose father taught Nancy to paint! I was overcome with the realization that the legacy of paint on canvas continues…and somehow, someway, I inherited the technique and trade of a dutch painter…a dutch painter I will one day meet in glory. Tilly gave us each a piece of her pottery and said that she would be praying for us… as we venture out into the world to use art as a bridge for grace and the gospel.
But, the grace and glory continued. We journeyed home (windows rolled down, and music blaring) through the darkness up to my house with the lights shining out. My family welcomed us in, and the rest of the time we spent hours laughing, hearing stories, watching a movie we had viewed this summer in Ireland, sitting by a wrought-iron stove, and wandering the art galleries. We went to church and sang one of my favorite songs (Find Rest My Soul in God alone -Ps. 62). We attended a Sara Groves, Audrey Assad, and Jenny and Tyler concert and drank in great lyrics and melody. Sara played two of our favorites (Painting Pictures of Egypt & Why it Matters). She told the story behind “Why it Matters”…a story of a man who made a “protest of beauty” by playing the cello during a war in Bosnia. She told us if we were artists, to press on. We even got to meet Sara because there were not many people who stayed to talk to her! What grace.
And I think of the disciples who proclaimed the glory of Christ as he entered Jerusalem. They really didn’t get what was about to happen to Him for their sakes. All they knew was they had seen the glory of God, and praised Him as a multitude. Jesus tells those who would dissuade them from their proclamation that if they did not speak, even the stones would cry out the truth. And He weeps for them. He weeps because He knows there is peace, and all they have found “peace” in is the good they have seen. Their eyes have been blinded. He longs for them to know the One who is peace. All of creation brings forth praise, and so often I miss it. I don’t want to miss it. I want to live fully present HERE. He longs to be merciful HERE. HERE is grace. What glory!
Lord, give me the compassion to weep for those who do not have peace, who do not have You.
Give me Yourself here today, and enable me to live in Your peace.
Control this, control it all.
I know it is only for Your glory.