Monday, October 26, 2009

My Hero

The finishing touch to Mack's nursery was a painting done by a dear friend of both Micah and I. Her name is Michele Struss and she has one of the most amazing testimonies I've ever heard. I wanted to give just a bit of background in hopes you would see why this painting is so special to us.

Michele was born with a form of Dwarfism that has limited and challenged her life in many ways; yet it is the very vehicle that God has chosen to make Himself known to her. As a result, Michele sees the treasure in the way God created her, fully aware that some things cannot be known about God apart from pain, weakness and need. These circumstances have been the stepping stones in her life towards a passionate relationship with Jesus and a resolved faith. "My faith is often tested when I'm in the heat of the battle; but while this world has no effective weapons to offer the weak, knowing Jesus, gives me weapons to slay giants." Michele is a giant slayer.

Having been born with a form of Dwarfism known as SED Congenita which causes daily physical struggles, pain and the need for multiple surgeries, Michele sees it as a precious gift as she watches the trials of her life grow her faith and deepen her relationship with Jesus. For that she calls herself blessed for being created as she is.

In 1987 as a result of neurological damage, Michele became fully dependent on crutches for the next 13 years. Michele says, "I remember in hope and utter frustration declaring, 'If the day ever comes when I don't need my crutches, I'm going to burn them!' When I asked my doctor if he thought that day would ever come, his wisdom spoke 'Most likely, no.' But I never stopped believing in the One who could heal me. On September 29, 2001 I threw the very crutches that 'man' said I would always need into a bonfire. My doctor of 28 years was there and said, 'There are many doctors but only one Healer. The Healer is the Lord above us. We have to acknowledge this.'"

From this experience came the painting "My Hero"

About the Painting (In Michele's words):

My hero was inspired by the words of someone dear to my heart. He calls me his hero because of the strength he sees in my life, but what he doesn't see is the source of that strength. In this painting I've portrayed myself as the little girl who has fallen while walking with her crutches. She looks up to the One behind her as if to say,"...but it hurts." His strong but gentle look reveals His response, "It will be okay, I am with you." On my own I am weak, but His strength is always there to pick me up. He is my hero and His name is Jesus.

After countless prayers, tears, and three attempts, which took a full year and a half, I was able to fulfill the vision God gave me and complete the work, My Hero. Those two failed attempts taught me more than any successful painting I created. Without the leading of the Holy Spirit I would never have had the strength or courage to try a second and then a third time. My prayer through it all remained the same: "Lord I cannot do this alone; I need You to be the artist and simply use me as Your paintbrush through which you reveal Your heart."

This is just one of several of Michele's amazing works of art. If you'd like to see more of Michele's work you can visit her website.

1 comment:

Buffi Crump said...

It is Micah and my prayer that Jesus would be Mack's hero from an early age!