The Archer

1997, Oil on Canvas, Size: 32 x 24

Before I became a full-time artist, I worked as an engineer at a military plant. When I left that job, my supervisor gave me a parting “gift” – a massive file, that was nearly 10 pounds and contained all the reports my colleagues had written about me. I learned more about people that day than I cared to know. Those who I once considered decent and friendly proved to be quite the opposite.

This story is intertwined with the Biblical passage about Jonathan, the son of King Saul, who warned his close friend David about Saul plotting to kill him. One morning, Jonathan went out into the field for archery practice. He told David that when his servant was sent to collect the arrows, he would yell out one of two instructions – one of which would determine David’s fate. If he shouted, “the arrows are behind you,” it meant that David could come back and safely rejoin the king at the feast. If he shouted, “the arrows are in front of you,” it was a signal that Saul was indeed plotting to kill David. Alas, the arrows came down far in front of the servant that day and Jonathan said to David, “The Lord has set you free.”

This painting illustrates my gratitude toward God for all the archers He has sent into my life that gave me a timely warning.