“The Lost Sheep is Found” Original painting, Acrylic on canvas, Diptych, by Jenny McLaughlin
This Spiritual Christian painting is about the soul, which has been depicted as a lamb being lost and in danger and later being found and rescued by Jesus. The painting is inspired by various scriptures, including:
‘I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.’ (Matthew 10:16)
‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Psalm 23:4 King James Bible)
‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?’ (Luke 15:4)
‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ (Ephesians 6:12)
The lost sheep is surrounded by enemies and in grave danger; I depicted these as wolves, a fox, a cobra ready to strike, a Cerberus, an eagle and a vulture. There are demonic forces also attacking the sheep, depicted as the shadowy figures in the dark clouds. The lost sheep is in the valley of the Shadow of Death, it looks like there is absolutely no hope for this lost sheep, this little lamb. For me, this reminds me of Biblical stories where the Israelites were facing insurmountable odds, and yet, by the power of God, they survived. It also reminds me of times in our lives, when everything seems hopeless, everything seems to have gone wrong that possibly can and we feel completely hopeless, scared and defeated.
The flames in the border of the lost sheep represent the firey trials that Christians undergo: ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.’ (1 Peter 4:12)
The flames give way to water in the border of the painting of Jesus. In this painting, Jesus is now carrying the lamb, walking away from the Valley and into a beautiful high area of pasture and safety, a lovely fertile meadow where the sun is shining and all the horrors are behind them. The lamb has been rescued by Christ Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the impossible situation has been overcome, the soul has attained salvation. The water in the border around this painting represents waters of life flowing from the heart of the believer. ‘Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:38)
The original painting is acrylic, with gold and both parts are signed, strung, varnished and ready to hang. The diptych took eight months to paint.