During our October 2012 trip to Rome, I was mightily inspired by the depictions of Biblical* stories. I was taken with the incredible pieces of art that really were telling the story without evangelizing. Or, at least, without being hellbathedinthebloodoftherisenlambfire evangelical. The beautiful imagery spoke of the immense power of storytelling.
Growing up in the southern United States, there were endless experiences with Christianity and Christians, many of them positive. However, it was a rare time when the stories told were told simply for the enjoyment of the tale. All too often the complexity and wonder of tapestry found in scripture is lost because at the end of it, you know that you’ll get a bit of proselytizing and maybe some guilt tripping. So when I returned, I decided to use a new medium (relative to other art forms) to share my own vision of Biblical stories. Maybe some that are familiar, maybe some that aren’t, but all of which provide a small brick of the foundation of the Christian faith.
The first was the story of Jael (Judges 5:26) who took in an enemy general and then slew him in a fairly gruesome manner. She is held up as one of the great women of the Old Testament, although not nearly mentioned today as often as Ruth, Esther, Sarah or others. I like her strength, her intelligence and her ability to change the tides of history with one decisive movement. And that moment is what I photographed in the scene below.
I hope to follow this with many others of scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Continuing to tell the narrative on its own, without any pretense except to share the myth itself.