Chi-Rho January Newsletter – The Narrow Path Mosaic

“The Narrow Path Mosaic” 26″ x 26″ acrylic on canvas, © 2016 by Donna Gonzalez

Yey! It’s a New Year!! Happy New Year to all of you and wishing all of you a blessed safe New Year filled with thanksgiving and joy!

The above painting is comprised of 35 identical mosaic paintings which when placed into a pattern creates this particular composition, it is just one of several possible pattern combinations. And I am always humbled how God’s fingerprints are there, this one is relatively easy to see the symbolism and the scripture that came to mind was Matthew 7:13-14. 

Jesus is speaking: 

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Iconography:

This mosaic painting has alternating horizontal rows of wide and narrow bands, each band is representative of a pathway. Highlighted in yellow below is one of several narrow pathways.

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And one of several wide paths…

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As I write this post right now I just had an epiphany about this mosaic I hadn’t noticed before…….Wow! Praise God!  I’ll explain what it is in a minute…but for now hang tight…it gets deep!

Notice that the narrow path below is made up of alternating brown and green elongated oddly shaped rectangles and concave squares. It is bordered by two sets of red parallel rows of tiles with wavy edges or wavy lines (highlighted in yellow) resulting in hemming the pathway at intervals making it even more narrower.

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Whereas the second pathway is opposite, it is wider made up of alternating blue and purple perfectly shaped squares and rectangles. Though it too is bordered by the same set of red parallel tiles, it is the straight edges or lines (highlighted in yellow) which border the wide path making it a perfectly straight unencumbered pathway….

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This is where it gets really interesting…

When this piece was completed I wasn’t thrilled with the results, and in hindsight admonished myself for not choosing a different color pallet. The alternating bands of blues and red remind me of bricks, there is no hierarchy, and it annoyed me. Though the wide and narrow paths reminded me of Matthew 7:13-14, I didn’t think there was much to say about this piece. 

Until today… when I needed one that was completed and felt led by God to write about this mosaic of all pieces!  Trusting God I started to write knowing His ways are always better than mine – and thought this was going to be a very short post, until I got that epiphany…..and now everything has changed! 

 

The epiphany are the straight v. wavy lines, the colors and the Christian disciplined walk in holiness in light of Matthew 7:13-14. I didn’t paint this mosaic with all of that in mind this is God’s fingerprints! Glory to Jesus!

The straight edges/lines of the sets of red tiles represents how wide and welcoming is the world’s philosophy of doing things. It’s gateway is wide, alluring, deceptively encouraging one to forego such foolish hardship of the other narrow path. Many chose the world’s path to because it deceptively fools them into believing lies, that life should be unencumbered.

The purple squares represents extravagance, luxury, power, wealth, and independence, trust and pride. The blue squares represents trust, wisdom and intelligence. 

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” I Corinthians 3:19-20

The broad path is paved with the world’s wisdom, enticing promises that striving after  extravagance, luxury, power, wealth, independence from all moral constraints and accountability is considered successful. But the end of it all is eternal death. 

13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:13-18

In contrast the wavy edges/lines of the sets of red tiles represents trials in life that hem believers in from all sides, is actually enabling them to draw closer to Christ.

The green colored shapes represents youthfulness, growth, renewal, safety, fertility and life. The brown colored shapes represents reliability, security and steadfastness.  All of which pertain to the journey of a true follower of Christ. 

In the Kingdom of God believers let go of pride trusting fully in Jesus as a young child puts it’s trust in a loving parent’s decision.  They are exhorted by Jesus to reject the wide  path and chose His difficult narrow way.

Difficult because it involves giving up the word’s ways of doing things, trusting and obeying Jesus so they may grow in maturity in Him. When a Christian chooses to remain steadfast in Him, Jesus renews their strength despite the unrelentingly ups and downs of life. Jesus alone is consistently faithful, reliable as our safety and only security in this troubled world. Jesus’ way leads to producing fruit that glorifies God and always leads to eternal life.  

3 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” II Timothy 2:13

8 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:8

May Christians be encouraged to remain steadfast on the narrow path! 

In Him,

-Donna

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