A woman is seen holding on to a ladder - in an attempt to survive. Made of grape vine, the ladder emerges, rooted in the mire. In time the new vine-shoot strengthens and thickens as it twists towards the light. Once in the light the fruit will ripen.
The ladder symbolises faith, which grows and strengthens during the dark times in our lives. When our reality is pain-filled, we can grow in our faith. As she holds on to the rungs of the ladder, she cannot see fully the height of it, nor the next step to take. How long 'til the threat is over? It is in faith she believes there is another foothold to trust.
The woman firmly holds on to the vine of faith with one hand whilst raising her other in praise and need of help. Calling out, singing and praising during the dark night of the soul.
The woman wears an outer garment of continuous prayer, symbolic of God's covering mercy. The purple stripes represent the need to be continually mindful of God's character, provision and powerful intervention even in the midst of her pain.
This is why we need the Word of God - the book through which he reveals both himself and his mighty deeds. Framing the painting, the prayer mantle appears to merge into scripture as if securely supporting the woman on either side.
In Hebraeic script, on the left hand side is shown the calling of Abraham and Moses, words concerning faith and the mighty deeds of God. On the right is Psalm 40 v5: 'Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust'. Our faith is not to be based on vague supposition, but rooted firmly in the Word of God in order to grow and bear fruit.
- Psalm 40 -
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I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire.
He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.
Many, o Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you.
Where I speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does nog look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.