Maundy Thursday is always a challenging service at The Stirring. This year the theme was “journey” with the title of the sermon being Passage. I wasn’t even suppose to be a part of the service till I received a call that afternoon. The leadership had developed this idea about a having an artist create a cross painting that the audience could journey to and touch while still wet.
Great idea, but sure put me on the spot. I didn’t have a large canvas or enough paint not to mention I didn’t know what to paint. To add to the difficulty, it was important for it to be finished at a key moment. Also, I had to cover a 30” x 40” canvas in a short period of time. To help hide the painting, I used an easel that can lay the canvas horizontal and vertical. This way i could reveal the painting to the audience at the right moment. Then near the end of the message, I flipped the painting up and moved it to the edge of the stage so that people could easily reach it.
Then the pastor encouraged people to come forward and touch the still wet paint of the cross to symbolize their personal spiritual journey to the cross and the mark that the cross have left on their lives. It was really cool to be a part of that experience. It was a very spiritual experience for me and one of my favorite Stirring services. I don't recall the exact number of people in attendance. I think it was in the 500 to 700 range.
Full color photograph of this painting was printed in the Memphis Flyer ongoing art section in with a listing of my art exhibit at Java Cabana in May 2008.