A short tale of spiritual power which happened in the powerful new art gallery the Lord is building as a stronghold in Kingdom. Jesus has decided He needs a base of spiritual power to break into comatose religious life of a small Minnesota river town.
A woodcarving couple from Taos, NM is presenting a three week long event sharing how the Lord is using artists to help harvest the last of the gentiles. The Navajo wife, Ajei, has been used with several strong viral social media explosions over the past three years. Both of them are completely given to allowing the Lord to anoint their work.
A short tale of spiritual power and beauty
Beginning work on the pole
Monday. April 24: visiting artists studio, Chozen Frozen Gallery
Right after breakfast at the old HQ, the Lujans drove down to the gallery and backed the long truck in front of the delivery door. Frasco, Bruno, Mario, and Lupe pulled up next to them. The new pole was large and heavy. They had brought with them padded transfer platforms on heavy duty castors and brackets for Ajei’s carving bench.
Actually, moving the pole went smoothly—though they were all grateful that they had enough help. Ajei was there to help them get it moved into position so she could work freely. The Lord was beginning to show her what she would be carving and she was filled with joy.
At ten, when the gallery opened, seventy five people had come to watch her carve. She gave Haloke a last kiss, plus one for her husband and she headed to the front. “Welcome, let’s pray. Jesus, thank you for getting me prepared this morning. I ask you anoint me to carve beginning with the glimmers you have showed me so far. I ask for the grace to carve a piece that will connect people to you.”
The “amen”s were reverent. “All right, I ask all of you, while you are watching, to pray as you are led that the Lord can guide and anoint me into producing what He wants for this piece. As you can see, it’s a remarkable log. To my eyes, the two large branches produced by the crotch lead me to see two arms raised in worship. I have no idea how the Lord is going to make that into a sculpture.” She turned to the log, went over, picked up a large brush marker, and stood back looking at the large Y-shaped log.
Then she took the marker and began sketching out shapes over the entire front surface of the log. The marker was a medium grey and produced an excellent line which varied with her pressure. She regularly stopped and quietly prayed in the spirit. Then she would see some more and begin adding shapes again. It took about thirty minutes to get the preparatory sketch completed.
Then she picked up a sharp knife and began outlining a shape. Next, she used a wide, barely curved gouge and began removing the background inside the outlined shape. Ajei did this process over the entire front surface of the log. By noon, the log was transforming into sculpture which was coming alive.
Flavio brought over a fresh glass of ice water, and she took a deep drink. She wiped her face with a towel and said, “Thanks for joining me this morning. It’s time to go feed ourselves and relax. We’ll be back before two.”
That afternoon, Ajei cut out and delineated several crisscrossing branching vines at least three layers deep, leading up to a few small areas of undifferentiated vegetation up near the top. Flavio had been on his phone talking with Aksel and Yanaha about getting the two cherry panels ready.
By Wednesday morning, it was clear that most of the log was covered with bare vines. The complexity of the weave was delightful. But so far it all looked dead. Except for two small vines which had bark and were clearly alive. The complex, entangled swirl of dead vines continued until the tops of both limbs, where they ended as broken stumps of grasping fingers of wood reaching up in the air.
But on Thursday, she began roughing out small overlapping grape leaves covering a protected area on each limb of the log. The leaves poked out between the larger swirl of the bare vines. Somehow she had left room for life to build out from the two smaller vines. It seemed to appear, almost like a miracle, in the midst of the sensuous curves of the dead vine.
By Friday morning the contrast between the dead vines and the life of the two little vines was great. She had been using steel card scrapers to make the dead vines look polished. They were magnificent in their dead remains.
The two smaller vines were largely hidden under the massive presence of the larger twisted masses of stark, polished vines gracefully climbing to the sky. The stringy bark covering rough-looking small vines made them look radically out of place as they disappeared into the leaves.
Then she started cutting out clumps of small grapes from some of the larger vines, peering out from under the shield of leaves on top, partially concealed by the swirl of the bare larger vines.
By five, the life of the two lively vines had built into glorious areas of leaves and fruit which were scattered through a small area on each of the barren limbs of the dead log. Ajei went around the entire carving with her scrapers, polishing and beautifying the barren vines.
She finished by going over the live areas, adding details and life to the living vines. She completed it by painting on the orange oil and beeswax finish to the living vines. As she rubbed it in, the finish made the living areas come to life and sparkle. She finally stepped back, and nodded her head. Flavio came up to her carrying Haloke. She took her daughter, and he wrapped both of them in his arms.
As they stood there, a little applause began but quickly faded out as one after another of them began singing—beginning with “I love you, Lord…” This quickly grew to far beyond eight-parts of fluid ever-changing harmony. A few women and men began singing soaring descants and deep bass lines in the spirit. Several of the people switched from English into a new language where they had much more freedom.
One man began singing out the virtues of their King in a soaring tenor. The Holy Spirit fed him lyrics as the rest continued with multi-threaded worship. It began to be punctuated with shouts of Alleluia! And pure joy. Finally, several minutes later the worship slid quietly into the peaceful quiet of the Presence of their Lord.
The Lujans were still standing there as the group broke up into smaller conversations. Many of the people came up to look at the carving more closely from behind the thin electric blue rope strung for protection between carved stanchions.
As Flavio and Ajei separated, many came over to thank her for her gift to them over the past week. She graciously thanked them all. Then they let others of the Chozen Frozen staff take over as they left.
They cut through the Nuev’Artesania exhibit to get to the employees entrance from the employee parking area on the western side of the building. Flavio had learned to back into the narrow area, because the truck was too long to turn around. So, they climbed in the truck and drove up to the artist colony on top of the bluff above the gallery. They headed straight up to their room.
After a while they came back down for dinner. The whole house was buzzing with the reactions to what they had seen over the past week. After constant thank yous and praise for Ajei’s skill, she finally had enough. She was in tears, “Come on, people, that was not me, it was the Lord. I was shocked by snarl of twisting vines. I had no idea how the Lord was going to redeem it until he showed the two small vines and I knew I had to add the bark.
“It seemed insane that so little room had been left for the life of the leaves and fruit. I really didn’t understand what He was doing until late yesterday and then this morning. The final results astonished me. I had not foreseen how much room the Lord had left for the life of the two small vines. It was all the Holy Spirit. Please don’t lay it on me.” She burst into tears. Flavio walked over to embrace her, and the rest tried to absorb the revelation.