This quilled piece is for a man who is currently battling a terminal illness and has experienced profound suffering. He is proudly Irish, so the words to the Irish hymn Be Thou My Vision were requested on his behalf (which is a favorite of mine as well).
The burned edges of the paper symbolize the trial he has been experiencing, and to show hope and truth (as spoken in the song) are untouched by the flames. The green underneath is a nod to the Irish and is placed under the burned paper to represent the constant, life-imparting love of the Father (God). The dove represents peace through the Holy Spirit. The dove also carries a small branch to represent God’s promises. The Celtic-type cross (also meant to look Irish-ish) represents the redemptive and eternal work of Christ. The plants on the top and bottom symbolize a changed, but ongoing life, despite the flames. The symbols are white to represent God’s holiness and purity… characteristics of God which, in my experience, seem to take on new meaning in the midst of the most difficult and pain-filled moments.
It has been awhile since I did a piece in which each element had special meaning. Knowing some of this man’s story, I was humbled by the opportunity to make this for him.