A Voice Calling in the Desert
“A Voice Calling in the Desert” is a portrait of John the Baptist. John’s life was touched by God even before he was born. His parents were told to keep him from wine and fermented drinks, possibly in keeping with a Nazarite vow. He was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.” (Luke 1:15)
In his ministry he lived in the desert, off the land, and baptized people for repentance and the forgiveness of sins. He was called Elijah and was called to be “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’” (Luke 3:4, quoting Isaiah)
The river in the painting represents the River Jordan where John famously baptized Jesus. The sun is reflected in the water to represent God’s favor on Jesus and as a reminder that the Trinity was present at Jesus’ baptism. John’s hair is long, as is his beard, in this imagining of him with a Nazarite vow which would have prohibited him from cutting his hair. His hair and beard are anointed with the heavens to show the favor of God on his amazing, but short, life.
This piece is in a private collection