Listening To A Portrait Painting
September 20, 2015
(J) Martha, you just finished the Message of the Month for October. I don’t know what the title is going to be yet, but it’s going to be something about hearing and listening. But while we were listening, and I mean it’s going to be no problem to get zingers out of this one. It was like one right after the next one, right? Going along with the devotional ReadMK about obedience, the power of obedience, there’s a single message that’s being kind of brought forth from the ministry. I’ve done a couple things on the blog, on getalongwithgod.com. I’ve done a couple of things speaking about listening, about hearing, about prayer, and Jennifer’s done the same thing. There’s just kind of a flow, unified flow going out, and I don’t think it’s any accident. But one of the things that you said, and I don’t know if you said it or something that you said prompted it, but you were saying that weakness is the prerequisite of hearing. That is a phenomenal statement.
(Martha) And the point is you have to need to hear before you will hear.
(J) But that pretty much excludes anyone with pride. You cannot hear with pride. In order to be in weakness, if that’s the prerequisite of actual hearing, then if I have no weakness and if I am sufficient in myself, then I’m not hearing God. That’s phenomenal.
(Martha) Well, I am so excited about listening to His voice. I just have a fresh something about it. And on the September tape of the month, I told a story of God saying, “Ok, now go with John to look at a portrait in Ft. Worth,” and I went, “Ok, God.” See, if you don’t hear the Voice you have no adventure. I just went cause He said, “Go.” Frankly, I wasn’t very interested. I didn’t have any expectations. I was going to support John in his art class, and because he asked me to go, and the Lord said, “I want you to go.” I just went along, and out of it I tell the story of obeying that. Watch out that you don’t miss something real strange that God tells you to do. I received a much deeper healing than I can even tell from this portrait. It was an emotional and a spiritual adventure that was life changing for me. But I just went because God said go. I didn’t have any… So, I made the statement in the tape of the month, “Be sure that you obey His voice so you don’t miss your own blessing.” I think I got more out of it than you did, John.
(J) You know something? The whole thing was, it almost seemed foolish. Why would you go fly half way across the country to go see one painting?
(M) For one day.
(J) For one day? I mean, it wasn’t like we were going to stay for a week, and we had meetings there, and we were just going to do that. We literally, specifically went and thank God for buddy passes and frequent flyer points and hotel points and stuff like that, because we were able to go, and we got there, and I knew I had to get there. I didn’t know why, and I knew I needed to invite you. “Let’s go, I want to go with you. Let’s go.” So, off to the races so to speak. And we’re standing there, and we had just the most incredible time. I enjoyed watching you watch the picture. I enjoyed experiencing your revelation, your healing and what you went through with the picture. And so, and I got a whole bunch out of the picture, more artistic reasons, but I really began to respect the man, John Singer Sargent, more because of what he could do. He just further proved with this particular painting and this particular portrait, proved the entire reason why I paint is because… I’ve told people in my class this. The whole reason I want to paint is because I want to be able to communicate my respect, my appreciation, my love for the person I’m painting, so that not only will you see my admiration for them, but that you will be able to… that the way I paint it literally communicates to you, giving you the choice whether you’re going to follow along with it. I’m not saying it right, right now.
(Martha) Yes, you are. You want to paint in the way Sargent did so that you know the person you’re looking at. I’ve never looked at a painting to know the person. I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience in my life. I’ve seen a lot of art, but I’ve never gotten to know the person in the painting until then. And it was because of his skill at capturing her. And I think really he loved the woman, and he loved other people that he painted. His art teacher he loved. It’s obvious he loved him and appreciated him. So it’s about love like everything is.
(J) Well, the thing that I saw when we went to see at the Met, we went to go see his friends and family paintings, basically portraits that he did of friends and family, and it was a whole show based on that. And one of the, and I thought it was the feature picture, it was amazing. Even Madame X who, it’s an amazingly famous painting and there’s several other paintings in there. But the one I was really drawn to was the one of Duran, because when you looked at it, I received his own appreciation and love for the man. And the man in the picture is, you can see the arrogance, and you can see a whole bunch of stuff. But I was given a love and a respect for Duran, because of how he painted him. And I knew who Duran was, and I knew his affection for Duran and his respect and admiration for Duran, because of how he painted him. And if I could create, and if I could paint… You know, I’ve told you I’ve wanted to paint you. I’m going to paint you, and I want to communicate my love and respect of you, so that when you look at the portrait that I do of you, that you have the exact same feeling that I have; that you have the exact same emotion that I have towards you. And then you can choose at that point. You can make that choice.
(Martha) And see, I never thought that was possible. I never dreamed of such a thing, that you could relate to a portrait.
(J) Well, normally you can’t. They’re just pictures.
(M) Right. Umhmm. They’re just..
(J) But this is not. How he painted, he did a narrative so that I knew the person. I knew something of the person’s life. There was parts of the people’s life, and I’m wondering now if most of this is based on the fact that it’s listening. Not only did he listen to the person, not only did he listen to her at a core level, he listened to Lady Agnew. He listened to Duran at a core level, but then because I’m a listener that I was able to hear what he was communicating.
(M) Wow, John, I’ll bet that’s true.
(J) So, if you’re a listener, God can speak to you anywhere.
(Martha) And you know the interesting thing is there’s such reality. This woman was very beautiful, but she was ill, and she had despair, and he captured it. He listened to her life somehow. I don’t know to what degree what it was, but I never thought of such a thing, that he listened to the person.
(J) He heard her.
(Martha) Umhmm, He did.
(J) He heard her, and he communicated her.
(Martha) He also heard what she didn’t hear.
(Martha) about herself.
(J) That’s right.
(Martha) Isn’t that amazing?
(Martha) He pictured her as she was not to herself, and everybody who saw the painting at that time was enamored with it, but he made her in her state, still made her who she really was, probably far more than she knew. Does that make sense? I didn’t know you could do that. It’s fascinating. See how fascinating the will of God is? It’s a great adventure, and if you don’t have a great adventure, maybe it’s because you’re not listening and obeying.