Two Jewish Believers in Jesus and Their Art
“I was born into an Orthodox family. I went to Hebrew school and attended synagogue with my father, yet I was very restless. Through my adolescence, I knew that anything I embraced had to be consistent with my Jewish identity, and I just didn’t see that in Jesus. Then in the sixties, I was a hippie. I was into a lot of things—because I was searching. That’s when I became a believer in Jesus, realizing that he was the Jewish Messiah.”
Whenever Meer has the opportunity to talk about his art, he inevitably uses it to say something about the Lord. “When I make a pot, I know that it’s intrinsically flawed. How can what I produce be perfect when I’m not? Then I look in the Bible and read, ‘And God said, let there be light.’ I think about what God wrought in one moment with just a word while I work for years, trying to perfect a simple thing. I relish that because it continues to make me smaller in comparison, and my sense of awe for the Lord grows.”
Meer says there are countless spiritual insights to be gained through working in clay. “I try to be clay on God’s wheel. I am the work, and the clay is only the medium. By working in clay, I can see the limitations, and I can look for limitations in myself. You learn things in clay. There is a point at which it’s still malleable, and there’s a point at which it isn’t any longer. It’s transformed. Once you’ve gone through a certain fire, you’re changed. You can’t go back to what you were. I’m learning what God can do with a lump of clay.”
“I was raised in a Conservative Synagogue. My grandmother was from Poland, very traditional. She lit candles every Friday night and baked challah. I loved that but wanted more. I had a strong awareness of God. It was like a driving force, I think, all through my childhood and adolescence. I really wanted to know God personally.
“My grandmother told me about Jesus, I think she hoped that by giving me her perspective, she would put a lid on whatever curiosity I might have about him. She said he was a great teacher, like a prophet, and left it at that.” Laurie also “left it at that” for the time being, but when she went to college, she started to read the New Testament. “I minored in religion, so it was actually required reading. The courses were very intellectual and academic, yet I found that this book seemed to speak to my heart. I also was studying the Holocaust. I think that much of my coming to faith in Jesus had to do with the fact that I really wanted to understand the issue of suffering. I found myself taken with the figure of Jesus as the suffering servant. I really identified with it.”
Laurie’s reading extended to the realm of philosophy. She says that it was through reading Kierkegaard that she finally came to believe in Jesus. “I would say that he brought me to the Lord. At that time I had a revelation and knew that it was time to ‘sin no more’ and start a new life.”
Laurie works in acrylics, then reduces her work into card format. She says that her art changed after she became a believer in Jesus. “I found it difficult to conceptualize original drawings or paintings before I accepted Yeshua. After I became a believer, pictures came clearer. All of my work is inspired by the Bible. I’m especially inspired by the psalms because they relate to everyday, practical issues. I’m looking to encourage people where they need it, to show them that there is another life, a life with God.”