Chapter 1 – “I feel awful”
The invitation to paint an illustration for each chapter came as my husband and I were preparing to go on a seventeen day voyage to Cape Town, South Africa.
I read the first chapter and the psalms 130 and 69 which both spoke of desperate cries for help and in my mind’s eye I saw someone in great danger of drowning in a stormy sea. I kept this thought for a painting as our ship laboured through a Force 9 gale in the Bay of Biscay. The waves were huge and the vast ocean was in great turmoil.
I attempted to paint a picture of the waves but was not satisfied with the result.
I also wrote a part of a poem imagining the terror of being in those waves
“Out of the depths we call to God for help.
Caught in the dark churning waters
Tossed helpless in deep troughs
Between the towering waves
We feel no rock beneath our feet.
Fear, our only companion, insists we shall sink
Sink in the dreadful abyss of our turbulent troubles
Drown, lost forever in the dark waters of the deep.
Out of the depths God hears our cries
Jesus reaches down to lift us up
And gently says, “O you of little faith
Rise up and walk across the waters with me”
The illustration we chose for Chapter 1 was painted some time ago and was first published in Shafts of Light (2008), a book of paintings and poetry.
You might like to compare it to the masterpiece by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai entitled “The Great Wave”.