Some years ago, I was alone on a rural road driving an hour or so from home to meet a realtor in hopes of finding a new home in a new area. Suddenly a car sped out of a side road crashing into me at full speed, sending my car down into a ditch, facing a telephone pole, shattering the front window and crumpling the car’s hood and engine. Instantly upon impact this sentence came to my thought loud and clear: “I will not lose the presence of God nor the lucidity of my thought.” I’d never heard nor stated that sentence before. It was a freshly powerful angel message enabling me to be unafraid and master what would appear to be a terrifying situation.
After several minutes a few folks appeared beside my car with anxious faces frantically urging me to get out immediately, worried the car might explode. At first, given the damage, neither they nor I could open the doors. Though there was blood on the seat and my right arm—the arm by which I make my living as an artist—was at an acutely impossible angle, I did not feel afraid. Cradling my awkward right arm in my left, I managed to crawl into the back seat and scramble out a rear door with the help of a woman forcing the door open. She happened to be a nurse on her way home from work (a nurse!–what’s the likelihood that the first person to come to my aid was a nurse?) and had stopped to help. When the policeman who eventually came asked what hospital I wanted to be taken to when the ambulance arrived—I had no idea, unfamiliar with the area and with hospitals in general. The nurse kindly suggested hers—“they’ll take good care of you there.” Again, I felt Love’s care and direction—and not a speck of fear. Though I’d never been in a hospital except for the birth of my children, I felt no anxiety. I simply rested in God’s presence. Though several times I was offered pain pills, I rejected them knowing that my reliance was on Love, God. Eventually a doctor saw me and described my injuries, the worst of which he said was that my arm, if it were ever to function again, would need a titanium plate surgically, permanently, inserted into my painting arm. He even kindly drew a picture to explain the arm situation. But he said he could not promise I’d ever be able to paint again. Still, I felt no fear. While it took an operation and months for all to be well, I never once felt controlled by fear nor lost God’s clear presence. Eventually I resumed painting, teaching classes, continuing my public gallery as I do today, eighteen years since.
Not to be afraid nor accept alarming suggestions was key to this healing. Having been born into a third generation Christian Science family in which I witnessed and experienced many healings, having, in my twenties, taken class instruction (a spiritually intense 2-week course for devoted Christian Scientists) and having appreciated all I’d been learning throughout my life about God’s care and love, I knew fear was no part of God or me or anyone who relied on God. Though genuinely appreciative for the doctor’s expertise and skill, I did not accept his belief that I might never paint again—that did not fit what I knew about God and God’s child. I was grateful for the nurse who helped get me out of the car and for her advice on which hospital to go to in the unfamiliar area. I was grateful someone phoned the police. I was grateful the young person who hit me was uninjured. I was grateful that the ambulance nurse—who told me how lucky I was to be alive, stating my accident should have been fatal—kindly phoned my daughter to come to the hospital. I am even grateful for the car that the court enabled me to purchase which I am still driving. Gratitude filled my consciousness for every loving bit throughout this entire experience.
We are surrounded by Love! Fear is not more powerful than omnipotent Love, God. Fear tries to interject terrorizing suppositions into our thought, suggesting Love is absent. What a lie! The truth is our innate spiritual identity and is intact. Love, God, is never absent. Love is where we are. 1st John puts it this way: “we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him….There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (NKJV, 1John 4:16, 18).
I continue to grapple with evil in its many forms–fear, crisis, hatred, injustice, disease, etc.– anticipating love will filter through every experience if I start each day with primal spiritual truths and stick to them. Then Truth and Love ride with me throughout my day, reminding me I will never lose the presence of God nor the lucidity of my thought.
We come through hard times by turning to a higher power: omnipotent, omnipresent Good that many call God or divine Mind, our Parent who cares for us always, who brings light even in the darkest hour—even when we don’t see it. Abstraction or non-objective art is a means of conveying what we don’t see with our eyes but find in non-material reality. It encompasses good and evil. As human beings we grapple with both. As artists we surge into these deep waters and ask how evil can even seem to be in a world created by an all-good God. An artist’s lifework is the attempt to find answers.