This is one of 12 paintings for the Ascension Press program “What We Believe” found here.
As part of the program I worked closely with the team to come up with each composition, and for this one it was important to emphasize that Jesus is both the Good Samaritan and the wounded man, and that we are both the Good Samaritan and the wounded man.
This is the image of the moral life. Jesus is our guide, but we also must go out and be Christ to others which in turn is serving Christ as we are the Body of Christ. Anything we do for another is by default for Christ for he is our head, and anything we do for Christ affects the body. Which is why prayer is so important as well.
The composition on this one in particular was very important to me. If you compare all the other paintings in the series, this one is the most zoomed out, and it’s completely by design.
It is just far out enough that we can look upon the scene and either enter it or move on.
We see the whole of the wounded man, laying as though dead, bruised and bloody. In the desolate desert in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, there is absolutely nothing. No flowing streams, no shade, no nothing for the Good Samaritan to use to alleviate the pain of the wounded man.
But he doesn’t let that stop him from awkwardly, strugglingly to hold up the wounded man. But in this, he draws the man into an embrace, with a gaze full of nothing but love.
The scene is both intimate and stark.
Will we come to the wounded man’s aide, or move on by?
But to flip the scene, and enter in as the wounded man, we look at his bruised and battered body. Cut on the cheek from a blow, sliced knee and shin from running and beating, cut arm and wrist, perhaps in defense, bruised ribs unable to be sheltered from blows by the thieves, and wounded heart, still bleeding.
Battered by evil and left for dead. Jesus comes to us and cares for our wounds.