A man from my church asked me to design a cover for a book that he’s putting together for a study (based on Scot McKnight’s book The Jesus Creed). He explained that the topic is loving God and loving others. It’s based on Mark chapter 12 in which Jesus says:
“‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
I chose to do a heart even though the symbolism is obvious. There is a hand in the upper right corner inscribing a message on the heart. I chose to do it in a language of the Bible. I started out with Greek, but was asked to switch it to Hebrew which looks really cool. I also placed some thorns in the background with some poking through the heart. Sometimes the message to love God and love others comes at a cost. I was also asked to make the edges rough, so I burned them. Here are some pictures of my progress:
I did the painting with acrylics, and used heavy watercolor paper so that the paper wouldn’t warp. I dropped it off at the church on Wednesday, and a couple of hours later Michelle Perez, the church’s graphic designer, emailed me the cover she designed featuring my painting.
Didn’t Michelle do a great job? If you like what I did, let me just say that it’s not a natural thing for me to be able to come up with things as quickly and successfully as I did. When I was asked to do this painting I said “yes,” then started to panic. I prayed, and after that I became inspired and things went very smoothly. Coincidence? I think not.