Story Behind the Art: Silhouettes in Grief

Silhouettes in Grief, 2018
Acrylic on Canvas, 18×24
By Nanci Stoeffler, Stoeffler Art Studio

This painting speaks to me of the beauty, movement and motion of grief on the human soul. It is to our detriment when we do not allow our soul-self the necessary and poignant opportunity to grieve – whether it’s the loss of a loved one, or a move to another state, or the unexpected loss of a job, or the loss of what we expected our lives to be.

Nanci Stoeffler-Silhouettes in Grief 2018 more detailScripture tells us that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). When we gloss over the painful, difficult and sorrowful parts of life we actually are not living life to the fullest. For all of the negative emotions and the loss that comes with them, have their unique and intended purposes in our lives.

Jesus is called the “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). As I look throughout my own life of all the sorrows I’ve been through, within each one I could find the Silhouette of the Man of Sorrows, Jesus Himself holding me, caring for me and grieving with me – bringing meaning, comfort and much needed companionship in my times of grief.

So as you view this painting, I encourage you to allow yourself the space and expanse to search your soul and grieve things that you’ve pushed back and hidden. No longer fearing sorrow but becoming comfortable with its meaning, purpose and release. And I encourage you to open the door of your heart to this Man of Sorrows – Jesus Himself and ask Him to lead you through the maze of grief until you come to the place of wholeness, healing and restored joy.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep & a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones
and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and
a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Story Behind the Art: Until Eternity is a Season

Until Eternity is a Season, 2019
Acrylic on Canvas, 18×24
By Nanci Stoeffler, Stoeffler Art Studio

My temperament enjoys what is fleeting and frivolous. However, I also long for things permanent and enduring. SeasNanci Stoeffler-Until Eternity is a Season 2019ons are sort of both, aren’t they? They appear for a few months and then disappear, melting into the next one. However, we also know they will come around again – ‘same time next year’. Their fleeting is laced with an imprint of forever.

And that’s something I sense in this painting. A recognition of the longing inside of me – stirred by the seasons – for all that is permanent, forever and eternal. I am thankful for the longing for it actually has been put there by God for a reason (Ecclesiastes 3:11), to help us remember this temporary, fading, fleeting world is not our true home. We were made for something more.

So with each forming and fading season, I seek to hear the Voice of the of the Spirit, which whispers of another world – a true home; a permanent one. (Psalm 104, Revelation 21-22).