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About the Romans 8 card

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. —Romans 8:18-21 

The tangled tree on the front of this card is an image of what sin has done. Because of sin, we suffer. We suffer from sins of our own and from the sins of others against us. There is even a connection between the two. When we are sinned against, we turn inward. We become bitter, self-absorbed and blind. We become unable to see the good things we have been given. We become unable to thank our Father who has given them to us and who is using even the rotten things toward our own good. 

We were not meant to live like this. We are meant to be outwardly focused—with hearts lifted up in praise toward our Father who graciously gives us all that we need. It is only because of Jesus that we can experience the release from our bondage and look forward to a glorious restoration one day. That’s what I am trying to say with this card.

I started both paintings in 2008. The blue sky in each was created by many watercolor washes. (Wet the paper, then paint the blue from the top and fade out towards the bottom. Let it dry. Repeat 15+ times.) I started the trees and then I got stuck and let them sit for four years.

I couldn’t figure out how to make the inside tree compelling. The original idea was to have music coming out of it. I thought that might work for a Christmas card, but it didn’t look right when I tried it—not Christmassy enough. 

I picked up again last fall because I knew I had something to say with this image, and maybe Easter was the best way to say it. I hope that this card gives you a glimpse of hope, a reminder of the joy we have been given in Christ. 

Bonnie Liefer

March 20, 2011