Art gives the artist a voice in society, whether the artist is holding a mirror up to what they see or rebuking what they feel has gone awry.
One of Todd Stahl’s pieces of art turned out to prophetic.
Stahl’s print “Art Ache” forms the basis of one of the devotions in his debut book 40 Days in the Man Cave. The story behind the print begins in 2010 writes Stahl on his website:
One night while I had some free time, I went for a walk. That particular day I was extremely stressed so I asked God to show me an idea in order to draw something significant. Before I even got to the end of my driveway I believe God gave me a distinct visual image of a heart with a band aid across it. I could picture the idea in my head instantly.So back inside I went to start the painting…
I believe God gave me a distinct visual image of a heart with a band aid across it.
At the time I thought I knew the reason why God gave me the visual. In my mind I surmised it was the fact that many people in life have very deep hurts. Pain that requires a band aid. Aches that need time to heal. I also assumed the dark colours I chose were due to the fact my own my heart had become hardened and crusty. Feelings of bitterness were pushed way down deep in my own life.
Fast forward four years to when Stahl, whose full-time job is as a firefighter, began feeling ill. Eventually he was diagnosed with a heart problem which ended up requiring surgery. Writes Stahl:
We will never forget (Dr. Robert Kiaii’s) explanation as he took a pen, opened a pamphlet with the diagram of a heart and began to explain the main issue with my heart. While describing in detail he circled around and around with a pen the exact area where the mitral valve was on the lower left side of the heart. Dr. Kiaii also discussed how there are fine ‘cords’ which open and close the valve and mine in particular he noted had come apart and were all loose and flimsy like a parachute. He explained that since the valve did not seal properly my blood would not receive enough oxygen, therefore resulting in all the symptoms I had been feeling. Lastly, other doctors had told us that I may need a replacement valve while Kiaii explained he felt confident he could repair my valve robotically. He even went as far as to say, ‘it is almost like attaching a strong band aid on your valve’!
I know a few artists who create prophetic art – art that tells forth the word of God. Stahl’s story is the first, that I can remember, of prophetic art that foretold an event. Stahl took the art with him into the operating room and the ICU, using it as an opportunity to explain the “amazing story.
“God had a plan and the story became so much bigger than just a piece of paper and some paint,” writes Stahl.
You can hear an Arts Connection interview with Todd Stahl on 94.3 Faith FM on Monday, June 1 at 9:30 p.m. ET.
If you aren’t able to tune in, the broadcast will be eventually be archived at www.selawministries.ca.
And you can read Stahl’s story of “Art Ache” on his website: http://www.toddstahl.com/the-significance-of-art-ache