I’m often stunned by the artistry and craftsmanship that went into building churches and chapels around the world. Obviously, a statement about the importance and majesty of spirituality is being portrayed to anyone who lives in sight of such a building. Throughout our history, mankind has built places of worship which were meant to impress on ones mind the importance of the supernatural, the afterlife, and the spiritual life. This has often been misused over the centuries, maybe even exploited, politicized, and even commercialized. For most of us, the chapel is still a place of reverent habitation. A sense of quiet often comes over me, as my steps echo through the open spaces of these buildings. Whispers seem more fitting than open talking. I think this is the intention of their beauty and design – to cause us to be quiet and ponder what life is truly about.
It is a mystery, but what we experience in the physical realms is not the reality of life. Something big is taking place in the unseen realms while we go about our chores and activities of our day. Spiritual qualities, spiritual entities, or unseen battles, and thoughts are present around us at all times. My hope is that when we enter our places of worship we are encouraged to be caught up in this “other world” activity where we move outside of our own interests and give to someone who doesn’t deserve it – we love, sacrificially. This is what Jesus wanted to build his church on – a foundation of giving of self, sharing our lives and resources, in a context of joy. I’d call this – Love. He said it would set us apart and allow us to transcend the physical realities of daily life.
So when I set out to paint a series of Chapels in the different seasons of the year, my intention is to draw you into the Divine activity that “should” be taking place in and around such edifices as seen in the lovely “Winter Chapel” – where you see people gathering despite the cold, where there is a warm glow coming from inside, and where you just might find food for your soul. I hope Winter Chapel draws you in and causes you to open your heart to the thrilling possibility of experiencing the love that was intended for you.
~ Mark Keathley