The desert is full of surprises! One of those is the amazing beauty that bursts forth from an extremely painful plant.
A cactus and its flowers are full of contradictions. The cactus itself is a dull and earthy color, but the blossoms are vibrant and happy. The prickles (on this particular plant) are long and sturdy, and inflict plenty of pain, yet the paper thin petals of the flowers are delicate and easily damaged. I am not overly fond of the many cacti surrounding our house (I have had a few too many run-ins with them), but I am hesitant when my family talks about ripping them all out. Although they only bloom for a short season, the flowers almost erase the memory of the pain.
It's strange, isn't it? How can one small flower transform a large cactus from being something of an eyesore into the source of a hidden treasure? How can something that is the cause of so much pain produce so much beauty? How is it even possible that pain and beauty can be so closely connected?
As I worked on this painting, I was reminded of God's faithfulness to bring beauty into every situation. Especially where you least expect it.
For those who enjoy seeing the process our art goes through, here are some photos of the painting in progress. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn't always the best, so the coloring may be a bit off in some of these. Sorry!