18. Chairs to Mend

by Eularia Clarke

Commentary by the artist

Eularia Clarke writes:

What was Christ’s life like, as a young man? I thought of little towns in the Midlands, say Staffordshire, where there are a lot of small family workshops and businesses, and of Christ working hard at repairing jobs, helping Joseph. Gradually the idea came, of Christ in Nazareth mending up the broken bits of people’s lives. Later he would bring them the “more abundant life’.

Vicar’s reflections

Andrew Bunch writes:

Maybe my favourite picture painted by Eularia Clarke is “Chairs to mend”. For me, it captures what Divine Encounters are all about. In life we all have favourite things which we use by preference. But because they get used so frequently, they are often the things that most frequently get hurt and broken. We have two options, we could stop using the item in question, for we cannot bear being reminded of our broken dream and thus our life becomes more and more impoverished. However, in Chairs to mend, the other alternative is shown. If we bring our brokenness into God’s domain for healing and then it can be re-instated in our lives. Jesus is depicted as the ultimate healer in God’s workshop of life. The broken aspects of our lives are restored and rehabilitated. God’s love becomes more firmly a part of our life. We experience the power of healing and the hope it gives and thus we encourage others to do the same. Rather than be sought out by God, we choose to take our pain and brokenness to God and ask for healing and, with the glue of love, life is restored.