Loved and Accepted

posted in: Faith, Inspirational, The Artist's Life | 10
"Surfacing Baptism" by Mark R. Turner, digital painting
“Surfacing Baptism” by Mark R. Turner, digital painting. Prints available HERE.

It is well known that affirming one’s children is key to their future success. But all parents work within limits based on their own parents’ limited ability to love and affirm. Even when we try to be affirming, our children do not always receive it. They develop their own limits which they pass on to their children or others around them. The result is that everyone has a stunted or even no sense of being broadly loved and approved of, and this has enormous impact on humanity.

For how long have our limits been passed down from generation to generation: centuries, eons, since the beginning? Can we break out of these limits and send new understanding on from our generation?

What we experience as a child forms our initial concept of Ultimate Reality.

It is one thing to get approval from our parents but when we move beyond them, we need it from others. So, we follow some life path in search of love and acceptance within the limits of the natural world and society which becomes less available the longer we search and work for it. We need it from beyond the limits.

I suggest that, regardless of our background or current status, we all have the capacity to awaken to the love and approval of Ultimate Reality.

From all accounts Jesus had a loving and accepting home life growing up within the given limits of his day. But he viewed his relationship to God as very personal like that of a son and father.

Our Elder Brother

As an adult Jesus went to be baptized by John the Baptist and the account tells of the kind of affirmation which he experienced from his “heavenly Father.” When he came up out of the water a voice spoke, “This is My beloved son in whom I am well pleased,” and a dove alighted upon him.

Because Jesus fully embraced what the Voice said at his baptism, he conducted his life as fully accepted by the Creator, Ultimate Reality. His word and deed were enacted on the basis that he was loved, approved and treasured by the Ultimate Reality regardless of parents and other people.

This enabled him to act as a “break-through member” of humanity, to live an unlikely life, die in solidarity with human suffering and resurrect as a new kind of humanity. Because he enacted a life awakened to his “family connection” with Ultimate Reality, he, as our elder brother, was the precedent for all humans’ awakening.

Us, the Siblings

And so, each of us can awaken to our true selves and embrace the Voice that we are beloved and pleasing to God. Embracing that affirmation, we can rise in our set of circumstances as Jesus did in his, whether we come from a loving and affirming background or not.

The goal is not to be the “perfect” human being (and what is that?) but to walk through the circumstances you are given in your time and place, to do what you are made to do, knowing you are loved and accepted by the Ultimate Reality, God. This is not trying to be a duplicate of Jesus, or someone else, but to break through the barriers you encounter here and now as another “break-through member” of humanity empowered from beyond.

This is a faith walk — faith in the face of opposition — like Jesus breaking through impossibilities. When we encounter blocks and resistance to living life as God’s offspring, we can say to them, “I am the beloved child of God who is well pleased with me. I will pass through this and the passage will expand the part of reality I am made to be.”

 “I am the beloved child of God who is well pleased with me.
I will pass through this and the passage will expand
the part of reality I am made to be.”

There is always more awakening, further rising, more progress, onward motion. God is pleased that we have come thus far and wills for us to keep moving ahead, awakening more. To embrace this affirmation has enormous implications for humanity on-going.

10 Responses

  1. Barry Turner

    Mark, That is a stunning image! Really evokes the rising from the waters of baptism and anointing with the Spirit. Hope lots of people see that. You say it is digital so not done with paint?

    Glad you have a new place to move and wondering where it is. Lots of work before Oct.

    • markart

      Thanks, Barry — Digital painting has come a long way. I hope sometime I can get a tangible print of this one.

  2. Sylvia

    We too, have always loved the water, as you have. I feel like I’m actually in the water, looking at your “painting”. Beautiful picture of the dove, ready to settle on Jesus as he comes up from the water. The Father’s beloved son, empowered to fulfill his calling to be the Savior of the world.

    • markart

      Thank you, Sylvia, — I have treasured memories of going diving off of La Jolla Cove with Wayne. Feel the cold Pacific Ocean! I feel like we’re always surfacing with Christ to more abundant air and light.

  3. Jackie Depalmo

    Shalom Mark,

    Thank you for the story behind this painting. Your words spoke to my spirit “Arise and Live”. Seeing this picture that is so alive with great movement, caused my heart to give thanks to Yeshua, knowing and seeing that He made the way for me to “Arise and live in all that ADONAI has created me to be.

    Thank you Mark for all the years you have encouraged us through your gift of writing, acting, productions and now digital art. This is a beauty.

    Thank you.
    Jackie DePalmo

    • markart

      Dear Jackie,
      Abundant Shalom to you!

      I am so thankful you are open to the blessing of God’s Spirit through this piece. It is a blessing to me just to get an indication it has been an occassion of hearing from God for you.

      You too have been a great stimulant to many through your dance and spiritual/artistic sensibilities. I have always been grateful to have collaborated with you. Let us continue on manifesting ADONAI as we sojourn together.


  4. Kathleen

    Love this picture Mark….with so much space in it for our imagination.

    Many blessings on your gift

    • markart

      Thank you, dear Kathleen — May we all rise, surfacing with Christ.

  5. Luc HENRIST

    Thank you Mark for these words of wisdom and healing for each one of us… We all have been wounded by life and sometimes by our own parents who did not know any better… May we do a better job at loving our children, by God’s grace.

    • markart

      Luc, — thank you for taking time to consider this. It is wonderful to hear from you and I pray God’s grace is manifested to you in all you are doing wherever you are.