cjphipps - collage work

'Creature of a Personal God '
©1997 Carol J. Phipps

This early collage became a surprise as I glued the colors down. It was not my intention to create a nursing giraffe, but a circular image using one animal species. As I worked and showed the product to my art teacher, Penny Sisto, she pointed out the two creatures together, the mother and the newborn. Subsequent reflection on the work caused me to marvel at the wonder of the creating process. And I thought, as creation announces God’s glory (Psa. 19), the Creator’s love is mirrored in a mother’s instinct to nourish her young. We see God’s delight in giving us all that we need (Psa. 37:4-5; Matt. 6:32) as we see a mother’s nurturing way. Such reflection on the Godhead has its roots in the biblical divine name, “El Shaddai” meaning “God [El] of the Breasts [Shaddai].” When biblical faith was in its infancy, God (El) was first called “Shaddai,” which may be translated, Mighty Nourishing One, or Almighty God. Other than the early patriarchs whose stories span Genesis and Exodus, it is the story of the suffering man, Job, which most often references God as El Shaddai. The Psalmist David said, “If my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up” (Psa. 27: 10).

(Also see Psa. 22:9-10 [God as midwife]; and Psa. 131:2; Psa. 121; see Job 38:8,29; Isaiah 66:9,13).

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