Monday, October 5, 2009

A Servant's Heart

A Servant's Heart | oil on canvas | 30x40

Here it is, the final completed painting. You've seen glimpses of the hands in the past, but here you can see them completely. Open, giving, serving hands–filled with things that represent what it means to be a servant.

Painting hands is a difficult task, and that was compounded I believe by painting them at this super-sized scale. My son Joe was my hand model and I think his hands worked well–although he wished I had done a better job of capturing his callouses. Tough critic.

My son Jack took the photo of me next to the painting. I thought it would help give you a better idea of the scale of the piece. Pretty large compared to most things you see on the blog.

In Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life he writes, "It is possible to serve in church for a lifetime without ever being a servant. You must have a servant's heart. How can you know if you have the heart of a servant? Jesus said, "You can tell what they are by what they do."

Real servants make themselves available. (the watch)

Real servants pay attention to needs (the coins)

Real servants do their best with what they have. (the nut and nail)

Real servants do every task with equal dedication (the matches)

Real servants are faithful to their ministry (the ring)

Real servants maintain a low profile. (the shadows)

Whoever wants to be great must become a servant - Mark 10:43


  1. BEAUTIFUL! An amazing painting.

  2. That's pretty awesome, John! I like how you captured the subtle shadows of the items on the hands. Beautiful job.


  3. That is extremely cool. I would love to see it person sometime.

  4. WOW! For the size, complexity, detail and master delivery, I bow with respect to the total handling, execution and meaning of this piece!

  5. havent been here in a while, whats wrong with me!!!! wowowowow this is super. Great image, and wonderful sentiments.

  6. What an incredible idea - and so incredibly well done! Beautiful hands, by the way, with or without the calluses!

  7. Great picture. Inspired me for the teaching I'm doing about expressions of thankfulness, and how being available to give service to the kingdom is one of these.