Painting by Ana Rase, Former WMF Romania staff
Upon my 10-year anniversary of service with Word Made Flesh I was blessed by a time of celebration and many gifts, including the unique painting pictured here. The leaves of the tree are thumbprints of children and adults from WMF Romania. They represent the uniqueness of each individual in community and how beautiful we are together. They are reminders of how important people are in our journey, how people work together in a community — no one is alone. The leaves on the tree together help feed the tree (leaves carry out the process of photosynthesis), and they provide shade for those who are weary and need rest.
Following is an excerpt from the text that accompanied this piece of art, a gift I will treasure as a lasting reminder of the formative years I spent in community with WMF Romania.
“You have passed through all the seasons and they will continue to wash over you again and again. Some of them brought sun and warmth. Others stripped your branches and crushed what was once alive in you. But this constant flow of seasons will only strengthen your frame. You need not be afraid! From birth to rebirth, you will always pass through sleep and death, but your sacrifice and fragility will not be in vain.
You have passed through innumerable spring times. Seasons of rebirth, moments of buds and flowers. Seasons of hope. The summertime saw your branches green and prepared you for fruit. These were times of trust. Every summer was followed by autumn, the rust-colored queen who knocked you over with her winds and whipped you with rain. Your leaves began to thin and covered the earth with their setting warmth. This was a season of sacrifice…
Your identity is what remains after the passing of every season. Pleasant days, bitter days, those with light and hope, freezing days and times full of fruit will unceasingly pass over your life. But just like the tree does not cease to be a tree, so you too will never cease to be you. And your identity will be fixed in your rootedness in Christ.”