"Spirit Led" by Lauren Wright Pittman
A Sanctified Art | sanctifiedart.org
From the artist:
I depicted Jesus divided, containing in his divinity all the stars and galaxies of the universe on the left, and the layered dust of his humanity on the right. For me, this text highlights the tension held within Jesus' identity, particularly through the tempter's efforts to lead Jesus toward his human nature while betraying his divinity. If Jesus were to succumb to the tempter's requests, he would have access to the unlimited power, influence, and riches the world has to offer, which are referenced by the stacked, columned structures on the right side of the image. If Jesus chooses to resist the temptations and stay planted in the wilderness, honoring his divinity and call, he chooses the wilderness path--one that would ultimately lead to his demise.
Jesus' ministry is defined by this standoff with the tempter. He is asked to turn stones into bread; instead he goes on to share meal with those deemed unworthy, and miraculously shares two of loaves of bread with five thousand people. He is asked to stand on the pinnacle of the church and enlist the help of angels; instead he goes on to turn over tables protesting the temple's entanglement with capitalism and greed. He is asked to take his place as earthly ruler over all; instead he will take the shape of a servant, dying a state-sanctioned death.
Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness immediately after being baptized. The wilderness has something to offer Jesus, and instead of taking a detour around it, he chooses to encounter its lessons. When we find ourselves in the wilderness places of life, may we take an open, curious posture, ready to be challenged, shaped, and sent.
Breathe deeply as you gaze upon the image above. Imagine placing yourself in this scene. What do you see? How do you feel? Get quiet and still, offering a silent or spoken prayer to God.