Follow Me by Mark Keathley
When I was a child, I remember my father (a church planter and preacher) saying from the pulpit that God chose sheep as an illustration of the church because of their great need for tending and care. Left to themselves, they couldn’t survive. Not only would wild animals have them for supper, but they could also barely eat or drink without choking themselves to death. He didn’t say this with contempt for humanity but in an awareness of what life is like in the spiritual realms. We have an enemy, and we don’t have what it takes to make it on our own. I began painting this particular image striving for design and beauty. However, when I was painting the sheep, stories came to mind, and personalities developed. In this small flock, you can see that some are curious, some are at rest, and some are nipping at others. One sheep has her head tilted and is gritting her teeth like Saturday Night Live’s church lady – judgmentally saying, “Mmmmhhhhhmmm. Well, isn’t that special!” Personally, I could put a name to each one of these sheep from my experiences in the church. There have been some good and some bad in the people I have met through the church over the years, but there is one who never disappoints, who sticks closer than a brother, and whose smile at me has drawn me out and into a deeper walk with Him. Jesus simply says, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden.” The heavy loads heaped upon us by religion make us weary and often want to give up. Some even want to walk away altogether. Sheep are lost, hungry, or cold, and they are looking for a good shepherd. In my painting, they are walking together with all their differences, looking to the one who simply calls and says, “Follow Me.” So, let’s stick together, take care of one another, and be a flock at rest and peace.
18x24 S/N (95) $895 Framed or $695 Unframed
18x24 A/P (15) $1395 Framed or $1195 Unframed