About the Gratitude Card
Help me to see
“The breath you are taking now is God’s personal gift to you.”
—Dr. Rod Whitacre
In July of 2012 I took a three-day crash course on the Gospel
of John and his letters at the CCO’s Summer Institute. It was
amazing. The teacher was Dr. Rod Whitacre, a New Testament
scholar and professor at Trinity School for Ministry. Ever since
then, I’ve been reading his commentary and praying that I
would gain a deeper love for Jesus and understanding of God’s
presence in all things. I want eyes to see that everything comes
from the Father through Christ. The people I know who have
the deepest awareness of this are also the people who live with
the most joy. I want more of that.
This card is about seeing that God is the provider of all things.
Each year I make a Thanksgiving card for CCO staff to
celebrate God’s provision for our ministry and to thank our
supporters for their generosity. Support-raising means trusting
God to provide as we make our need for funds known. It can
be scary or wonderful depending on how you look at it. If I see
God as the provider, it’s not scary at all. It’s up to Him to move
people to give. If I think it is all up to me, it’s terrifying.
The fruits and vegetables on the front of the card are symbols
of God’s provision. There are other symbols I could have
used—like technology, housing, or roads—but those things
would not have made a very attractive card.
My original plan was to only paint what came out of our
garden this year. I spent a whole day trying to arrange eggplants,
peppers, leeks, potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes—but
the compostion just didn’t work. Once I let go of the idea that
the card had to reflect what we grew, other options opened up.
I chose fruit and butterflies and a leaf to give more variety
and color. Painting takes such a long time that I have to be
committed enough to what I paint to want to stick with it.
Because I’ve been studying botanical illustration in my spare
time, I decided to use that approach. Everything was painted
in watercolor in layers; yellow first, then reds, greens, and blues.
Painting in this way really forces me to look at the glorious
things God has made.
We live in such a wonderful creation—I hope this card gives
you a glimpse of the joy it gave me to make it.