Hope, the Redemptive Power of Art, by Wendy DeRaud

I was following Jesus along a narrow dirt pathway that wove along the coastline, overlooking the ocean. It may have been off the coast of California, or maybe England. I continued to follow Him through an arbor covered with climbing roses, which brought me closer to a cliff dropping down to the water from a tuft of turf along the edge of the cliff.

I was safe because I was near Him, and He was beckoning me onward to see something important. He was leading me to a home overlooking the sea, but we sat on the edge, looking out, and there we saw a drama played out before us, my husband and me.

An old fashioned sailing vessel was offshore, under siege as the target of some fierce combat. Arrows were flying through the air and piercing the sails, aiming to take down the ship, to render the sails powerless and ineffective. The sails became tattered and quickly worn by the battle, singed by some of the arrows which were carrying torches of destruction, and soon the sails were being burnt away by the rampant flames, and bruised by splattering of blood.

We watched as time unfolded, telling the story of our lives, for the battle was ours. We were in a great battle, somehow poised in time, neither past, present or future, but an eternal battle that was ours for the learning, for in battle we grow and become.

As the battle raged, we saw many fish, jumping out of the water, revealing much sea life all around the beleaguered battle ship. The fish seemed to disregard the battle, they seemed to be jumping for joy and full of life and zest in their ceaseless dance. A large net emerged, and all the fish happily were caught in the net, as if they embraced their destiny. The net and all the fish were also a part of our story, a result of the battle, and we sat and watched as Jesus held us warmly.



The sun began to set in the western sky as our story’s final chapters were told in the color decorating the evening sky. We saw the word HOPE appear in puffy clouds arising from the flames.

Suddenly we were in a boat, a small dinghy, with one simple sail, slack in the cool air of twilight. We sat and waited, gently bobbing in the sea, as we watched the smoke from the battleship dissipate into the sky, dissolving into the sunset’s tapestry of light. The battle had subsided and we were still safe, we were still together and at peace.

All we were to do was wait. The only way we could move forward was by virtue of the wind, the wind that was now held at bay. We knew the wind would come, and that in the waiting we would grow more and more sensitive to any slight quivering of the sail that would set us to sail. But we continued to bob up and down in our dinghy, looking toward the horizon and the hope before us, utterly dependent on the wind to bring us to our safe harbor.