New Painting: I Was a Stanger

May 24, 2016 at 1:16 am / by


I Was a Stranger 24 x 36 (available)
I Was a Stranger 24 x 36 (avail­able)


I Was a Stranger (detail)
I Was a Stranger (detail)

This paint­ing has been selected to be part of the Op Ed exhibit run­ning from Octo­ber 3 through Novem­ber 6, 2016 at the Art League in Alexan­dria Vir­ginia.

In April, 2016, my wife and I had the priv­i­lege of vis­it­ing a small refugee camp in Lebanon. It was a beau­ti­ful day, and the camp was nes­tled in a vine­yard between two spec­tac­u­larly beau­ti­ful moun­tain ranges in the Bekaa Val­ley.

We were able to meet a Syr­ian refugee fam­ily and see a local church in action car­ing for the needs of the Mus­lim refugee fam­i­lies. The father of the fam­ily we vis­ited was bedrid­den and dis­abled and it was heart­warm­ing to see one of the church elders come to take care of him. While I was there, I saw a lit­tle girl peek out of one of the tents. When I pointed my cam­era in her direc­tion, the poor lit­tle thing started to cry, not know­ing quite what to make of me. I felt really bad but she soon calmed down once she real­ized I was a friend and not a foe. When I got back to the stu­dio, I was able to use one of the pic­tures I shot as the basis for this paint­ing.

The Syr­ian refugee cri­sis is prob­a­bly the great­est human­i­tar­ian cri­sis of our life­time. At the same time, it presents a great oppor­tu­nity to show the love of Christ.

The title is drawn from the gospel of Matthew, chap­ter 25:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glo­ri­ous throne.  Before him will be gath­ered all the nations, and he will sep­a­rate peo­ple one from another as a shep­herd sep­a­rates the sheep from the goats.  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the king­dom pre­pared for you from the foun­da­tion of the world.  For I was hun­gry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you wel­comed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you vis­ited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the right­eous will answer him, say­ing, ‘Lord, when did we see you hun­gry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and wel­come you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my broth­ers, you did it to me.’


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