It’s intriguing how the Great Creator Spirit enters my artist space to create alongside me. We’re a team. Sometimes messages come through dreams but for this painting, Jesus woke me up at 2am with an urgency for a conversation. I woke bolt upright, got up, lit candles, opened my Bible and listened, with pen and paper ready.
Revelation 22 is a luscious marination of beautiful imagery. As I sat with the Creator by candlelight and read I was given the image of a Gumtree as the Tree of Life. An ancient and strong eucalyptus native to these lands now called Australia, whose roots ran deep, and canopy filled with leaves. Within the trunk was the radiant cross, full of light. I saw campfires of people groups around the tree, healthy and strong, reaching in connection beyond themselves. I saw the stars gleaming in the bright night sky and a crystal clean river. I saw the gum leaves and immediately recognised them as cultural significant symbols for welcome, safe passage, blessing and welcome.
In prayer I asked what this all meant, I heard Jesus say "I am the Tree of Life who brings healing to the nations”.
This is the finished painting after that night of 'awake dreaming'. The process of co-creating it was significant to me as it has provided me time to reflect on how Jesus has the power, resourcing and plan to bring healing. I think of the healing my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need with ‘unfinished business’ and the continual barrage of injustice being experienced. I think of my brothers and sisters seeking asylum and refuge in these ancient lands now called Australia. I think of families experiencing domestic and family violence and this sacred earth needing protection and restoration. We need the healing that only Jesus can bring. To me, justice and love go hand in hand with truth-telling.
I share the message of this painting to remind us all to be led in the love and grace of Jesus to participate in reconciliation and healing by being truth tellers and seeking justice.
'Tree of Life' by Safina Stewart
Title: Tree of Life
Artist: Safina Stewart
Country: Wuthathi Country and Mabuiag Island
Art type: Acrylic Paint on Canvas
This painting emphasises Jesus as the tree of life with leaves for the healing of the nations. It is a deep invitation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leader, Safina Stewart, to participate in reconciliation and healing by being truth tellers and seeking justice.
Revelation 22:2 “And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
Gum Tree & Cross - Jesus as the Tree of Life, who brings truth, healing and life
Gum leaves: for healing, welcome, and new beginnings
Campfires: represent all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations and all nations from around the globe
Water: symbolises the River of Life
Artwork not to be copied or used without permission.
This page is part of Common Grace's Treaty and Truth Telling for Healing Country campaign