Inspiration In My Work
I still remember the day when a colporteur selling Bibles knocked on our door. My mother talked to him while I was watching TV. I was surprised when she brought in a big Bible for which she paid a good price. And I still remember how happy she was when she placed The Book on the bookshelf, in the living room.
At that time I was on drugs and did not have a cent in my pocket, though, from time to time, I used to earn a few dimes by producing and selling drawings and paintings.
“You must be crazy,” I said to my mother. “Why did you spend money on something which is good for nothing, except, maybe, for entertaining old people?” As she was surprised at my remarks, I added, “You should have given that money to me.”
In my mind I continued criticizing my mother for having foolishly “wasted” her scanty resources. If someone had said to me that one day I would change my way of thinking, I would have answered without the slightest hesitation, “You must be crazy, too.”
Before long, while I was looking at the Bible on the bookshelf, an idea occurred to me. In that book I might find inspiration for my art work, which I could sell to the Christian believers. “Of course,” I said to myself, “that may become a source of income. “My detestable habit was gaining ground and I needed more and more cash for drugs.
I was high one day, when I opened the Bible and read in Revelation 1:9-20, where John describes the vision of Jesus on the isle of Patmos. As I was beside myself, I did not use a screen, instead I painted the picture on a wall in my room. And it was a very interesting scene.
The new thought that The Book was good for something—at least for inspiring me with ideas for my art work—made me stop complaining about the price that had been paid for it. I continued reading and painting, and was happy about it. More than that, the scenes that I was working on with my paintbrush left a deep impression on my mind.
I was spending some time on a farm when I had a dream (or a vision?) in which I saw the very scenes that I had reproduced on the wall in my room, in the dream, however, I did not see those things as simple paintings, but as live realities. Everything was moving. It was a strange experience.
Upon my return home, I was eager to continue reading the book of Revelation. I read as far as chapter 21, verse 7, with feelings of awe and admiration. But when I reached verse 8, I got scared. I believe I was not the only one to tremble before this verse, which reads: “The fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” I believe many people must have felt the way I did when I read this verse. I must confess that I felt I was condemned together with the sinners mentioned in this scripture, because I was one of them.
However, as I continued reading the Bible, other verses inspired me with hope, and I turned to Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. Today I am working as an assistant pastor.
Adelson F. Lima