Child of the Light
"The creator made us creative.  Our creativity is our gift from God.  Our use of it is our gift to God."  Julia Cameron - the Artist's Way
The Child of the Light series is a visual essay that was included on the Episcopal Church Visual Arts website ~ ~ an inspirational website you want to visit.

Child of the Light
A Series of Watercolor Paintings
Jane Collin

The words "I want to walk as a Child of the Light" filled the church in a song of praise, and the sunlight streamed through the tall windows over the altar.  St. Mary Magdalene is a Florida church in Coral Springs.  Built of native coral rock it stands tall among the pine trees.  The clear glass windows allow you to see God's creation while worshipping.   When the sun streams through those towering windows with their cross-shaped mullions, it illuminates those serving on the altar with God's loving light.  One Sunday morning that loving light surrounded Josh.  As a painter, I love the way the bright Florida sun plays on a subject.  However, something else was happening.  Throughout the rest of the week, the phrase "Child of the Light" kept popping up.  Ephesians 5:8 "For once you where darkness, but now in the Lord are light.  Live as children of the light -" was in one of my daily readings.  And I could not get the "I want to walk as a Child of the Light" tune out of my head.  It is with that inspiration that the Holy Sprit guided me to paint this series.  

Maddie, Child of the Light. I few months before I painted Maddie, I sat in the hospital waiting room with her mother.  As time wore on, the waiting never seemed to stop.  Finally she was back into her room and able to go home.  Then came more waiting, months this time, to finally get the good news.   There was healing in her life, and we praised God for His blessings.  Maddie is full of delight!  I see her growing in her faith and taking time to discern what is right for her.  As I painted her, I felt her delight and celebrated my friendship with this Child of the Light.

Caroline, Child of the Light.  Caroline caught in a moment of laughter and giggles.  Those are the best moments after a young girl experiences transitions.  Sometimes those transitions are not what one wants or expects.  Adjusting to new circumstances, meeting new people, trying to fit in, and wondering if she will be accepted can be difficult.    So when she threw her head back and let the giggles emerge, the light fell on her as God's love poured over her, I hoped that her transition was complete.  And that she feels accepted into a community of Christ's love.  An amazing artist herself, I am blessed to know Caroline, a Child of the Light.

Nina, Child of the LightYears ago Nina was in my Sunday school class.  Over the years, I watched her growing as a Child of the Light to become a beautiful young woman who just left for college.  Nina is typically so full of excitement and enthusiasm.  She is the one who gets everyone up and going.  It is no wonder that she was a Rector of a Happening weekend.  She had just finished getting everyone up and going to sing a "Happening" version of a popular hymn.  Then right after taking communion, she became very intense in prayer as the light streamed into the church and illuminated her.  I chose to paint her in that prayerful moment because she was so intense and so much a Child of the Light.

Katelyn, Child of the Light.  Sometimes adults adopt children and sometimes children adopt adults.  Katelyn adopted my sister, and, therefore, she is a part of my family too.  Katelyn, at a young age, has endured more hardships than most adults.  Yet, nothing seems to stop her from being full of life.  I find her a source of inspiration as she overcomes difficulties with a huge smile and twinkling eyes.  Katelyn had just received her First Communion and the light streamed in on her surrounding her with God's love.   Again, I painted a serious portrait of a typically joyful and rambunctious child.  I could not help but wonder what she was thinking as she received her first Communion.  Katelyn is full of God's love and a reminder to walk as a Child of the Light even during the difficult times. 

Deanna, Child of the Light. She was only a few minutes old when I first held her.  I looked into her tiny face and thought about the first time I held her mother.  As had happened in the past, I was overwhelmed with the feelings of unconditional love.  Deanna continuously brings me joy.  But there is something more than her zeal that I find so endearing.  Her intensity in learning about the church and its teachings is rare among little children.  So as the light came flooding in on her, I recalled the first time I held her, the times we have played together, and the times we have worshipped together.  Deanna is God's Child of the Light, and mine too.

Josh,  Child of the Light. Josh, was my first source of inspiration for this series.  He is so full of life, and I often see him across the church as he serves on the altar.  He typically falls into the same position with his head in his hands while the sunlight streams onto his auburn hair and white vestments.  As most young people are, this moment of quiet and refection is only a part of his persona.  Josh exudes enthusiasm.  When he returned from a youth group trip to Kanuga (Hendersonville, NC), he was alive with the Spirit's fire and loudly proclaimed his love of our Lord Jesus.  How exciting to be a part of this young man's life, knowing that he has a solid foundation in the Christian faith.  As I painted this Child of the Light, I recalled that joyful moment when Josh said "I just love Jesus!"