by Rachael Schartner

My picture is of the river of life between two trees inspired by Pastor Laura’s sermon from October 20, 2019, using water colour pencil crayons.  I use Art as therapy for my mental health and this picture represents hours of listening to scripture and praying while decreasing feelings of anxiety or trying to increase feelings of joy.  Meditating on the theme of this picture helps me to remember my baptism.  I am standing in the river of life in baptism and living TODAY in the kingdom of God between the tree in the Garden of Eden and the tree of life from revelation.  My heart is on fire from knowing who I am in Christ Jesus and what began as a few embers has grown as the fire is stoked by God’s word, attending church, praying and having fellowship with other believers.  



This poem is an abstract way to tell how I can relate to the disciples on their way to Emmaus with Jesus.  I too feel I was blinded to who Jesus was until he opened my eyes after addiction and mental health ravaged my life.  Getting to realize who Jesus is and how he loves me has been a journey over the years and I can’t even point to one specific day of conversion experience but I feel I have steadily moved from darkness to light as I’ve gotten closer to Him.  A major turning point was becoming sober after getting pregnant.  My son Micah is now 5 and when pregnant with him I began to realize how amazing God is and in turn how much I’m loved.  

My Road To Emmaus

My eyes were opened
My heart was burning

Black void
I can still feel the ground beneath me
I see the endless chasm below
Sitting hard on stone
Crawling from the edge

My eyes were opened
My heart was burning

Orange embers
I feel my heart beating
I stop to breathe frigid air
Pools of light in the distance
Running cold
I call for help

My eyes were opened
My heart was burning

Yellow warmth
Singing fills my heart
I hear my voice owning a melody
Baby kicks
I praise you Jesus
Basking in the glow

My eyes were opened
heart was burning

Red fire
All consuming love
Burning away shame
Jesus' hands and feet
Stoking the fire
Walking beside me

My eyes are opened
My heart is burning