"Appulse" 48x60, Oil on Canvas
The definition of Appulse is: a driving or running toward something (such as a place). I thought that fit the upsurge of air and how, at any moment, this would cause a rain that would, in turn, connect to the earth.
For the past weeks as I applied the layers for this painting I have also been working through my thoughts and feelings about a certain girl that I work with in Juvenile Detention here in Dallas. I will call her Esther here although that isn't her real name. I met Esther when she first came through JD back in October. Her first conversation (where I could hear it) was overhearing her talk to another girl about how they couldn't do as much drugs when the got out (at least not at first) because their systems would be cleaned out. They were sharing with each other how they needed to go "slow" to build up again. It was said in such a breezy way as if they were talking about shoes. I remember just realizing how hard it was for an addict to not be able to do the thing they loved most. Me in my sheltered world and life. I couldn't fathom talking about drugs as if it were like going grocery shopping.
Through the weeks I came to see Esther as one of the wisest of the group. She would share her vulnerability and questions freely. Her heart was spilled for all of us to see. I came to realize how beautiful she was. Little by little her prayer requests changed from, "Let my time in here go by quickly" to, "Please give my Brother faith Lord. Shield my Grandmother from negativity. Give me strength to do the right thing when I get out." It was amazing. One of the ladies I work with, Linda, was able to share with her the clear message of Christ. We all felt that Esther HAD changed while she was in JD. In a way she was running towards God the whole time. He was clearly calling her name and she heard Him.
Last week we said goodbye to Esther as she was able to get back into the free (as they call it). I have to tell you all that seeing her go was tough for me. Maybe because it's the first girl I've really loved deeply in JD. Maybe because she just shared her heart so openly I felt I really knew her. As I was painting this piece I thought of her and prayed for her (still do). I hope as she goes into the free she runs right into the arms of God and His community.
She had a sobering look on her face the last time I saw her. She said, "I'm afraid Miss. I know what I need to do but I'm not sure I can do it." I told her that I believe she could. I believed that God would help her. As all the culture comes smashing into her life again I pray that God would be her strength, help, rescue and deliverer. Please pray for her with me. Pray for good community. Pray for love and hope to pour out on this precious girl. I get just a glimpse of how much God loves her through my own love. It reminds me that He hasn't stopped thinking and being with her even though my time seeing her consistently has stopped. He hasn't left her or forgotten her struggle. For me, that is the truth that I am running towards. Appulse.