"Torn Curtain," 10 x 14 original watercolor, unframed.
When I saw these cliffs, I loved the way the dark crevasse severed them, literally tore them in two from top to bottom. The shadow that separates them makes a beautiful and interesting shape. An escarpment broken in two. It is also a desert metaphor.
Anciently, a piece of clothing or fabric was torn as part of an oath or promise, a covenant. According to scholar Jamie Ann Steck, in Studia Antiqua, "In the Hebrew Old Testament, the word bryt ("covenant'') is almost always associated with the verb krt ("to cut''). These together mean "to make a covenant" but the literal meaning of the idiom krt bryt suggests that some aspect of cutting [or tearing] is involved in making a covenant."
At the moment of Christ's death, the veil (or curtain, in some translations) of the temple "was torn in two, from top to bottom." I like to imagine that this massive vertical tear right through the temple veil was a reminder of the covenant God made with his people anciently -- even at the darkest moment in human history, God remembers this promise by making an enormous cut through the curtain of the sanctuary. A symbol. A reminder. An entry point.
Today we aren't asked to tear our clothing, but we are asked to symbolically break our hearts, to approach the altar, whether literal or figurative, with humility and remorse.
AFFIRMATION: I WILL KEEP MY PROMISES
Part of my Desert Metaphors series, posted during Holy Week.
"Torn Curtain," 10 x 14 original watercolor, unframed. Save $120.