God, you are my place of safety.
God, you are my source of peace.
It is your goodness and your kindness that soothe my fears.
Without my certainty and hope in you, all of my life and decisions would be laughable.
Instead, I will look at the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before me and see your children and your delight and I will rejoice in the good inheritance of my faith.
I know that those who find their hope and safety outside of you will suffer and will suffer more.
I will not seek after other comforts, other solutions or other people, to be for me what only you can be.
Lord, you have given me my past, my present, and my future is securely yours.
You bring me gratitude and contentment.
I will praise you because you counsel me always, even as I rest you instruct my heart and mind.
“I will fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith.” He is my solid ground, my strong foundation, my sure footing.
Therefore I know gladness, I speak gratitude, I rest and relax in the safety of my God.
You will not abandon me.
You will not neglect to care for me.
You show me the way of abundance and life.
You give me joy, you fill me with your joy, like an excited friend whose mood wears off on you, and like contagious laughter.
You provide completeness and pleasure in your presence.
S. Jewell S. McGhee
S. Jewell S. McGhee
Jewell is an artist who has come to be known also as an author. She often writes a reflection to go with her art pieces and has been paraphrasing the psalms for many years.
About the Artist
S. Jewell S. McGhee likes to call her art “painting with pencils.” She first started using colored pencils to help her mother write names on lunch bags for school. “My mom would pick matching themes for the names on our bags; all balloons, or sunrises, or sometimes just geometric shapes. She always made them so beautiful; a plain brown bag lunch was, all at once, a love note, a story, a hug, and simple colors to enlighten us for the rest of the day.” These bags also became a constant reminder that art was simple, attainable, and a necessary part of every day.
“I always start with a story.” Every time you hear a story you have a physical (tears, a chuckle, or a smile) or mental (confusion, contentment) reaction which is unable to be explained in words alone. “I like to use abstract art as a medium to dive deeply into the complicated mess of a story and discover something more about it and about myself.” She follows the flow of a story and finds the shapes and colors that express its fundamental emotions and questions.
Jewell uses her art to interpret the stories of Shakespeare, the newspaper, the Bible, and her own life. “As I grapple with Hamlet, I see lines-sharp and violent-cutting through relationships and into love. There is red: obviously for blood, but also for love (a riddle itself). A golden crown, a golden son; a golden sun breaking through ghosts, clouds, and lives to reveal blackness and blood.” How black is the blackness of hate? What texture is grace? What shape is confusion, or desperation, or promise? These are the questions these pieces ask.