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In the darkest places, God is with us

Artist Lyn Diefenbach’s UnitingWomen 2018 keynote address “Opening the treasure box” was an invitation to explore the joyful and painful memories which make up our lives. And in doing so, to recognise that God can weave our brokenness into wholeness.

As she spoke to the audience of Uniting women of all ages from across Australia, Lyn created an artwork in pastels of the Liffey Falls in Tasmania.  The themes of living water, light and dark were woven through the fabric of her family journey.

“The most important thing in painting is getting the values right.  My values are anchored deep in the love of Christ,” said Lyn.

“God walks with us in those deepest darkest places … you can trust everything that God has promised you. We have a light that cuts through our darkness and reminds us of how loved we are.

“We cannot truly see the light without the dark.”

As the artwork took shape, so Lyn’s moving narrative unfolded as she described the devastation caused by tragic death of a granddaughter.

“My studio became my sanctuary, my special place where I find God, where I pray my broken prayers,” said Lyn. “Remember what the Bible says, ‘Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted by the very presence of God’.”

The link between art and spirituality became clear as Lyn’s painting grew and bright water found its way over the rocks and into the shadows of the picture.

“The Spirit pours over us living water so that our beauty can be seen, who we truly are.  We are bounced along but we are anchored deep. We are called into places that are dark and desolate, but the most important thing is that we walk with Christ,” she said.

“God is good. God comes alongside of us in our hurts and he carries us on the wings of prayers of others, their presence, their actions, so we can become stretcher bearers for others who have walked a similar path.  We can pick up the broken because we have been broken ourselves.”

In the same way that she walks through the bush to find inspiration in her work, so God calls us to look anew at our lives, said Lyn.

“Let the treasure box be opened … the tears collected are woven by the master’s hand into a canopy of grace.”



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