Friday, October 9, 2009

“Guided Safely Home”: A Visual Tribute to Dr. Eldon DeWitt

The basis of this composite is the same as the one below titled "Deliver Us From Evil".  It is eerie to me now that I made the other one.  I had been working on this artwork for my pastor and dear friend, Eldon DeWitt, for a long time.  On September 19th, I took the rough draft I was working on for him, which I was planning to give him for his birthday on November 10th, and made the darker composite for Pirate Day (which always seems to bring out in me a strong desire to witness for the Lord).  It seemed the Lord was helping me, as the daunting task of blending many images went very quickly.  I was almost finished with Eldon's composite, and I was very excited about that!  I didn't want to spoil his surprise though, so I didn't share the intermediate version with him.  When he died of a heart attack on September 24th, completely unexpectedly, as he was very healthy, including his heart,  I almost threw out the entire thing.  I'm glad I didn't, as now it speaks of his heavenly homecoming!  Death and evil have been defeated by Jesus Christ, as Eldon well knows.

I have written a more personal essay concerning this picture and how Eldon inspired it and helped me in my spiritual and artistic development.  You may read it on my Facebook wall: here is a link to it.  In this blog, I will make brief references to the symbolic meanings of this piece.

Really, this artwork has a double-entendre, as it is just as applicable for a person living on this Earth as it is for a person whose spirit has left his bodily dwelling and has gone to his heavenly home.   We call that death, but when we are born-again children of God, not only do we have hope of eternal life in heaven with God, but we also have the hope of receiving a new, heavenly body-- free from pain and sickness, and with capabilities we only have glimpsed.   The temporary separation of physical death is extremely difficult, as Eldon's friends and family will testify, but it cannot be compared with the eternal agony of separation from God that those who do not accept Christ will experience.  That truly is grief not to be faced.  Today is the day of salvation, and Jesus has His arms open wide to receive those who will come, offering us Life instead of the Second Death, and so much more. . .

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. "
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 NKJV

That leads me to the temporal meaning of a ship (representing someone's life) being led into a dangerous and rocky cove by the light of a lighthouse:  the Spirit of God is faithfully drawing men, women and children into the safety of His realm.  Whether we have strayed away from Him, drifting on the seas of circumstance, or whether we are still waiting to be found, He is calling His people home.  His covenant is so great that I cannot begin to go into it here, but forgiveness and cleansing from sin, healing of emotional wounds and physical disease, everlasting love, acceptance and belonging in His holy family, and His nature imparted and trained into us through His Word and the help of His servants: all these are there for us, and much, much more.

Since this artwork was done specifically for my friend, his unique interests are included.  The eagle was a special symbol to him, and though I'm not completely sure what it meant to him, I can guess that it had partly to do with soaring into the heavenly realm by the Spirit, and receiving a prophetic message from the Lord to give to His people.  So this eagle represents Eldon himself, who so loved the Word and the presence of God.  He always had a revelation of truth from God to give us, represented by the scroll.  That reminds me of the scrolls in Scripture:

And He said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you." So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness. Ezekiel 3:3

Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings." Revelation 10:10-11

The burning bush, as I talked about in the previous blog, represents the manifest presence of God, such as how Moses saw the glory of the Lord and heard the call of God.  This burning bush sign not only represents a level of presence of God that Eldon always pursued, but it also symbolizes the people of God when they are "on fire" with the Spirit and Truth of God in their lives.  Eldon was certainly a "burning bush" while he was here with us.  He always said that trees represented knowledge or people.  Here it can represent both, a greater knowledge of God and a greater presence of God in our own being.

I left the treasure in this version of the artwork.  Its meaning is different however, for Eldon had truly left behind all pursuit of earthly wealth, and completely trusted God's provision for his needs.  Eldon's treasure was the things of God.  He treasured every word God spoke to him, whether through study of the written word or revelations he received through dreams or any other means.  He was never a "hireling", meaning: he didn't serve in the ministry for gain, but because he knew the call of God on his life, feared the Lord and obeyed Him, and had the Father's heart for the healing and restoration of people, he treasured the people of God and the gifts that were placed in them.  He constantly worked in the Kingdom, with very little earthly reward.  Therefore, this treasure also represents "gold tried by fire", the heavenly riches he sought for and imparted, and the heavenly reward he will receive as the Father says, "Well done, good and faithful servant". (Matthew 25:23)

Credits: these are additional credits to the ones listed in "Deliver Us From Evil":
Eagles on the beach © Jim Dubois
Sunset At Orre Beach, Norway © Harald Tjøstheim
Manuscript with flowers 2 © Alexmax
Images from
"Guided Safely Home" is a composite artwork by Karen Gladys Henry © 2009.  All rights reserved.  For permission to use this image in any way other than copying to your computer as wallpaper, please email me at  Thank you.

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