Gallery Exhibition

Suffering—Where Is God in My Pain?

The art in this show is a response to the current sermon series on the book of Job, in which we explore the questions that inevitably rise when we face suffering: Why do good people suffer? How could God allow so much injustice in the world? Where is God in my pain? The artists in this show express pain or grief that they have experienced or seen around them, and how they see God working amidst the suffering.



Grief – Pen and Ink – 16″ x 20″

Chris Duncan

Title: Grief

Medium: Pen and Ink

Size:  16”x 20” framed

Artist contact: [email protected]

Artist Statement:  I drew this 33 years ago right after my mother died suddenly.  This is how I felt…as if the whole world was going on around me and I was invisible.  No one knew how devastated I felt inside.  But I knew that God knew.  The verse came to me.  Deuteronomy. 33:27  “…underneath are the everlasting arms.” I felt that.

Sunken – Watercolor – 19″ x 19″

Redeemed – Watercolor – 20″ x 16″

Martha Rippere

Titles: Sunken and Redeemed

Medium: Watercolor

Size (Sunken): 19”x 19”

Size (Redeemed): 20”x 16”

Artist contact: [email protected]

Artist Statement: When we met, Melva was a Jewish non-believer. God was present in her pain. In five years, she was singing, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

Dirge of the Heart  Watercolor – 9″ x 7″

Carolyn Chaffee

Title: Dirge of the Heart

Medium: Watercolor

Size: 9”x 7”

Artist contact:

Artist Statement: Dirge: a mournful song, piece of music, or poem.

Many of us may be feeling anxiety, fear or loneliness amidst our current situation with the Coronavirus. In the midst of this blinding storm we can still say, in the words of this song:

“I can’t see what’s in front of me
Still I will trust You, still I will trust You
Steady heart that keeps on going
Steady love that keeps on hoping
Lead me on.”

From “Steady Heart” by Steffany Gretzinger

Good Bye  Watercolor – 22″ x 30″

Carolyn Chaffee

Title: Good Bye

Medium: Watercolor

Size: 22”x 30”

Artist contact:

Artist Statement: My grandmother passed away on the day I created this painting several years ago. Death, like the staircase in this painting, recedes into the dark and mysterious distance. Faith, like the moon, shines brightly in vast darkness. Even in the face of death, faith is “hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19 NIV).

I Can Feel the Rising  Watercolor – 10.5″ x 14.5″

Carolyn Chaffee

Title: I Can Feel the Rising

Medium: Watercolor

Size: 10.5”x 14.5”

Artist contact:

Artist Statement: After a long night, the rising sun is just beginning to touch the world. The breaking light is metaphorical for breaking through a painful time—for the joyful healing after a storm.

“I can feel the rising of the sun
Mercy sings me the promise of Your love
And I’m reminded of how far we’ve come
You’re the one that my heart is beating for.”

From “Morning Song” by Steffany Gretzinger

His Light – 21.5″ x 25.25″

Maureen Brown

Title: His Light

Size: 21.5”x 25.25”

Artist Statement: Some people are stimulated by the spoken or printed word. Myself, I have always been more stimulated by the pictures I see.  So when I went through some deep and dark times, I needed to express through my painting what the Bible was telling me.

As human beings, it is easy to wallow in the here and now of the pain, regardless as to whether it is internal or external. For me, taking a look at this painting brings to mind these two verses. It visually shows me the promise of God being there on the other side of the pain. The bright light through all the darkness. What it also shows are the bright rays of light showing throughout the picture, reminding us that God is there with me through the pain as well.

Jeremiah 29:11

Chaotic Bloom – 36″ x 45″

Isaac Villanueva

Title: Chaotic Bloom

Medium: Spray Paint, Pen, Graphite on Loose Canvas

Size:  36″ x 45″

Artist contact: [email protected]

Artist Statement: Seasons of suffering, hardship, and pain ebb and flow much like the sea raging against the rocks of our coast. In times of my own suffering, the reoccurring theme that God continues to teach me is that pain and hardship ultimately draw me closer to him. And that he can use my experience and my story to bring about a better version of myself through the process of how I work through my suffering relying on Him.

With this understanding, there is a beauty that blooms from the chaos. 

At the Cross – 4′ x 7′

Carol Ralles

Title: At the Cross 

Size: 4’x 7’

Medium: Birch

Artist contact: [email protected]

Artist Statement: At the cross, where all suffering is consummated,…the light showed forth and the “burden of my sins” rolled away…

What can I say? Jesus and His suffering means more and more to me as I see how He has freed me from my self, and He has let me see His brilliance.  Through suffering some of our brightest moments in life become clear.  Not at all easy…but Joy comes…

Questions or comments about the exhibit? Share them here!

Series Inspiration

In the book of Job, we will meet a man who suffers loss in the most extreme way imaginable. As we walk with Job through his time of suffering, we will learn truths about God, about the world, and about ourselves that will strengthen our faith.

Audio, video, and text versions of each message in the series will be available weekly in the Sermon Library.