Karen stopped by the New York Center a year ago, February. She was Jewish, liked Jesus and wondered if she could help out with some volunteer work. After speaking with her for a few moments, our staff realized that Karen did not really know who Jesus is or what He had done for her. An artist who grew up in California, Karen continued to suffer the after-effects from the drugs and the lifestyle of the early 1970s. Many medications and bouts with mental illness made her life difficult, but somehow through it all, she realized that Jesus was the Way. She came to our office wanting to offer her time, but found that Jesus had something to offer her first. She gladly heard and believed the message of salvation, though it was difficult to gauge just how much she understood.
Karen was persistent and consistent in her desire to volunteer with us. That very day, she helped out for five hours and, over the months, she continued to come back for more.
Several of our staff read the Bible and prayed with Karen whenever she came. However, due to the difficulties mentioned, she had a hard time focusing. She desired to read the Bible and pray, but her attention would wander.
One day, it occurred to Tovya Rose (who now leads The Liberated Wailing Wall, but was part of the New York branch at the time) that art might be the way to help Karen focus on a Bible study. He asked her to draw a picture of a lamb and a picture of a man. She did so. Then he explained atonement and the sacrificial system using the pictures that Karen had drawn. Her attention was riveted throughout the Bible study. When she came to volunteer the next day, she announced, Last night was the first good night’s sleep I’ve had in years. When I woke up this morning, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.” Then she looked to heaven and said, “Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus! I understand.” It was the most expressive and confident statement she had made since she first came to us. She has continued to volunteer with our branch and her help is much appreciated.
When you stop to think about it, the gospel itself is a work of art. Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection present a graphic picture of how God’s love and righteousness triumph over sin and death. God is the great Creator, the source of all artistry. When we meet people who struggle to understand His truth, God Himself provides the inspiration we need to demonstrate His message in creative ways.