Today’s post is by Robyn Sand Anderson, artist.


“Coming to faith is analogous to falling in love. One cannot fall in love in the abstract. Love comes through an encounter with another person. The same is true of faith. If faith is a relationship with the living Christ and the living God who sent him, then faith can only come through an encounter with them. And the Spirit is the one who makes this presence known.”   -Pastor Craig Koester



I often begin a painting with only a vague notion. In this case, all I knew was that I wanted to show a deep contrast between the real, material silk cloth and the beauty of color blending and moving underneath and around it. The first time I thought I was done with this painting it looked very different from what you are seeing right now. Something bothered me, though, which is how I can tell I am not finished. It sometimes takes a while to really “see” what needs to be done. I simplified by covering many colors with a deep brown around the outside of the silk and left brilliant color cradled inside of the silk. But it still needed something. You will often see movement in my abstract paintings. I’ve come to understand that for me, movement gives a sense of God’s Spirit moving in the world. I added movement with white strokes. Now the painting was complete.

Who is this “Advocate” Jesus speaks of, this Spirit most Holy? The word “advocate” in Greek is “paraklétos” meaning helper, or one who walks alongside you and supports you. Jesus was fully human, of this Earth, material, flesh and blood. He knew sorrow, joy, fatigue, exhilaration, laughter and pain. He suffered with those he encountered and suffered his own loneliness, torture and death.

Jesus reached that point in his journey when he knew that those in power were circling and that his ministry on earth was drawing to a close. And so, he gave us this gift, God’s Spirit, an Advocate who will walk with us. The disciples and future generations would know and experience God’s intimate presence.