Since the moment we are born, we are taught a set of beliefs, morals, standards and expectations. As we age, we test what we were taught, to see if we come to the same conclusions and outcomes we may expect from our teachings as children. Testing these root beliefs either draw us in further, or push us away. But those roots are still there, buried in the recesses of our being, waiting.
Constantly being bombarded with the many viewpoints of our society, our beings are weathered into unique forms. We develop an identity, with goals and aspirations of our own choosing, whether they are supported by the status quo or not.
We are able to accomplish formulating our character through the freedom to will–to fight for what we believe in. How then do we manage to do this? Where does that will come from? Much of it originates from our roots. Or, on the contrary, how much opposes them? A notion in our minds is the driving force behind the stance we take. Either our roots have supported our growth, or caused us to wither because our opposition to them.
For many, those roots are embedded in religious beliefs; teachings dating back thousands of years with millions of believers endorsing them.
What does this have to do with this painting?
This piece is titled, “Forgotten and Found.” It is a watercolor painting of a dilapidated church in Romania (which is one of my favorite settings to paint). The meaning behind the painting is to remind America of it’s foundations. We were a country founded on strong morals, appreciating life and the freedom to thrive. Our society has clearly forgotten this, and has thrown away the morals we once held.
I know. A conservative, political statement. Totally not “trending,” is it.
We are becoming a self-absorbed nation caring more about ourselves rather than the life sitting right next to us. Because of this, many have had unwelcome ideas forced upon them. If those ideas weren’t accepted, they were shoved down the throats of their opposition, giving them ultimatums if they don’t accept and conform.
People deny to realize a new type of oppression has flowered from it. Possibly by reminding people, reminding them of what our nation was founded on, may help them realize that there are good qualities of our nations’ founding worth salvaging.
The church in the painting, although in a devastating state, is still standing. It may be weathered, burdened and beaten down, but it still stands. Just as Jesus still stands for each of us. We may grow up hearing about Him and believing in Him. We travel through life, learning and growing.
Then we come to a point where a crossroads lies in front of us. Many choose the path that is possibly more appealing and popular than the other, which in the end leads them to ruin. Along this path, our spirit takes a beating through self-harm, until the point where we meet a dead-end. Some, however, are able to find themselves out. They recall something they once had–innocence, respect for others, selflessness…(they don’t necessarily have to be “Christian,” but basic morals towards our fellow kind) and reapply it to their life. They backtrack, and on the way, they find the ruins of their faith, their roots.
Although beaten, it is restorable.
The setting of the church represents isolation, reflecting what society has done to those who believe in anything and stand by those beliefs. But it also represents that among a wilderness, One stands strong, not matter how hard others try to pull Him down.