By S. Jewell S. McGhee
1. No one cares about morals or promises or faithfulness. No one cares about religion or even thinks that God could be known. Religion has become myth or superstition.
2. Because we have no respect for God or any acknowledgement of his rules, there is moral chaos. Everyone lies and cheats and steals.
3. May the LORD in his strength and his truth bring respect to his laws, may he cut off lawlessness and thwart the boastful.
4. May he frustrate those who say and act as a god unto themselves, as if they make the rules for their own universe and rule their own lives.
5. The LORD speaks, the LORD moves, the LORD will arise on behalf of the poor and oppressed. He gives strength to those who are weak and he proves the weakness of those who think they are strong.
6. There is no impurity in God or in his words. If he promises, he will act.
7-8. You LORD are our safety and our protection even in this godless and amoral world even though our culture honors what is vile and celebrates wickedness and depravity.
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.