Striving for Righteousness

2012

About the painting

This image arrived in my mind when I had a studio in the organ loft of Oxford’s Ark T centre in 1998. I began it then and I took until 2012 to complete it.  The title probably arrived at the same time as the image.

So many people work so hard to see inside themselves to find God, to find a way to be righteous.  We struggle with scriptures.  We struggle with church messages, varying as they do from one denomination to another and from one theological perspective to another.  This man is looking so intensely at himself and taking so much so literally, that he has indeed cut off his hand as it had caused him to sin.  He seems to have cut off the pain at the same time as he stares again in the mirror.  And that same mirror blocks the light streaming through the window.

How often in our striving, we miss the grace which is ready to flood us.

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