Every Picture Tells A Story
(Editor’s Note) Our Spring Issue of BaptistLIFE magazine features a unique picture, painted especially for us by Artist Adron Dozat. The magazine focuses on our Pathways initiative dealing with sexual abuse prevention and protection. Read this poignant description of Adron’s thought process and artistic efforts as he prayerfully prepared this image for us. If you haven’t subscribed to BaptistLIFE magazine, click here to receive the next issue.
Painting this picture, I felt inadequate to tell a story of which I am a stranger but one that many people live every day.
Using acrylic paint, I tried to mix heaviness and lightness. Various edges are heavy dark shadow areas as if darkness is creeping in. The foundation scene is an empty church structure — not the true church, but a structure of religion.
The perspective is askew. Its lines lead to the background, where the cross offers hope on the horizon. The pews add to the disconnect by being slightly out of perspective. You know instinctively, subconsciously, that something is wrong. The viewer’s eye is level with the cross.
The background is bright, light, and hopeful, showing the hope of Christ. The path leads away from the place edged by shadows to the cross and all it symbolizes.
A person is there but off-center because real people struggle with hurt, healing, and wholeness. Abuse knows no bounds, age, or gender, so the figure is nondescript. It could be you or someone you know.
The image is a silhouette; we see their shape but not their details.
The pose tells the story; it shows the struggle. The person is stepping out of the structure. They are holding their downturned head with one hand, hiding their face. The other hand is hovering above a pew.
If every picture tells a story, then every viewer must respond. Maybe it is questioning. Will they leave? Is this person reluctant to leave? Do they want to hold or abandon? Are their shadows growing? Which way are they turning? Will darkness always define them? Is their hand above the pew showing hesitation and conflict, or is it a farewell wave? Will they take the path to Christ’s love? What about people I know?
What about me? Am I not supposed to be the answer to those questions?.
I hope this picture inspires you to seek answers. As a people of faith, and myself especially, I hope that we move forward with understanding, compassion, and love.
Adron Dozat is an artist and the author of Bible Time Fun Pages and serves as BCM/D’s facility support specialist.