Steve Taylor Arts
The full title is “With the Blood of the Night” and refers to the consecration of the struggle or “dark night” by the Savior’s Blood. Consecration here means to make what is humanly impossible, possible or doable by divine power. With faith in “the Blood of the Night” of Jesus, our transit through crisis is made endurable and even fruitful. Pain turns into meaning.
During passages in life, we are assisted to make hard crossings by grace; sometimes being literally carried in arms by the Lord Himself (see popular Christian wisdom, “Footprints in the Sand”). The butterfly represents the soul: delicate, fragile, but endeavoring. Its bounding, erratic flight traces out the crooked line that only God can “write straight”. The butterfly is small and light, a symbol of humility; colorful and spry, a symbol of resurrection.
The creature is shown in flight, just nearing to clear a ridge of stone. What lay beyond rough, rugged obstacle is peace, serenity, blessing, restoration, health, justice, harmony, balance, order, and deep silence. For the painter, the distant coming green represents the mercy of God’s favor, the kindness of God.
The species is the Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly common in eastern North America, whose markings are suggestive. The wing’s lead edges are very deep blue-purple, almost black, that abruptly graduates into a day-sky blue, which graphically implies the idea of ‘night into day’. The back edge wing patterning is elegant, declaring the conquering power of beauty, including the hidden beauty of courage and perseverance. Near the outer edge of each wing tip are two spots of deep red, symbolic of the sacrificial blood of Jesus that marks the Christian, the person of faith, the soul who hopes in and prays to God for deliverance. Jesus covers us with His blood, and we are thereby enabled to overcome what we cannot by ourselves.
The Holy Blood blesses the wings of the creature and powers their climbing with Love. The night that is blood is the crucifixion of the Christ, the dark night of death by torture, enacted upon the Man-God. By this Night, each of our nights of agony and bitterness are made endurable, because Jesus, the Single Act (Past, Present, and Future are one), has already endured it for you and everyone. All suffering has already been taken into His Act.
The off-to-the-side cedar tree is the pilgrim friend, the one who prays. No one makes the crossing without the assistance of someone else’s charity, of which prayer is the greatest. Who are the advocates in our lives who go before us and silently know our need, who offer secretly on our behalf?
There is a distinct light that shines through the picture. This light blends the vertical-perpetual “noon” light of the Father that bathes all on His earth at all times with the intimate “sphere light” of God’s nearness to His creatures. The divine light of God is majestic and intimate, far and near, overall and at-hand. Do we glimpse both?
Finally, the painting is a contemplation of spiritual journey. On earth, trials will ever come, but we place our eyes not on hardships, but on the Prize, the Empyrean, the Help of God, the Kingdom coming ...