Come to the Light

December 7, 2020 by Jeniffer Rodriguez

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“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” (John 1:5)

It amazes me how art can be created in so many ways and with so many different materials. In this work that I created, a material that is used for shoes is transformed into a piece of art to create the effect of light and darkness.

At some point in our lives we may have felt immersed in the darkness and wondered if it could be possible to come to the light again. What we need to remember is that Jesus, as the light of the world, has been and will be there for us. Jesus’ light shines upon us constantly, but because we are overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated and sometimes disappointed, our emotional state does not allow us to see that light.

This year has been tough for many of us. We have had to learn new ways of doing ministry.

Things that took a few hours to do now take longer than expected. We might say we are tired. We might say we are done. But when that time comes to take some time off and energize ourselves again, we reflect and realize that we could not move forward because we were only seeing darkness and not light, not because we did not want to, but because all of our senses were closed which did not allow us to see anything further.

This painting “Come to the Light,” just uses one color. The light comes from the material that was used to do the painting. If with one color, we can express how we are feeling inside, how much more can we express by being reminded that Jesus is the light of the world?

This painting is a self-portrait. I am represented further down in the painting, but that huge light is shining over me to give me strength and let me know this is temporary. Every situation in life is temporary and it shall pass. Even though we do not know when that change will happen or even how, just knowing that there is a special light shining among us gives us another perspective and a new motivation to keep moving forward, despite how the world is or what is happening in our lives. With the Light of God, we can overcome everything!

The light is already there. That’s what I was reminded of in doing this painting. The shoe material used for this painting is the light. The brushstrokes are the darkness, and we are the ones who bring it for a variety of reasons, but despite everything, Jesus invites us to Come to the light!

Rev. Jeniffer Rodríguez is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ossining, NY. Jeniffer and her husband Kyle Craig are the parents of a beautiful 3-year-old girl Emma Sophia and a handsome 1-year-old boy Eric Gabriel. Originally from the Dominican Republic, she pursued her Master of Divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary. Rev. Rodríguez likes to do creative things with art, both for worship and personally. She is a chaplain of the New York City-based Ecumenical Choir Cántico Nuevo (New Song) and involved in social justice issues.