Curator Statement
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  Matt Baumgardner
  Barbara Dee Baumgarten
  Sandra Bowden
  Gurdon Brewster
  Ned Bustard
  Ruth Tietjen Councell
  Ioana Datcu
  Martin Delabano
  Barbara Desrosiers
  Erin McGee Ferrell
  Gary L Gorby
  Kathy T. Hettinga
  Catherine Kapikian
  Cynthia Leidal
  The Rev. Frank Logue
  Colleen Meacham
  Mary Melikian
  Eric Reiffenstein
  Krystyna Sanderson
  Donna Shasteen
  Constance Skinner
  Hal Weiner
  Anne Wetzel
  George Wingate
  Copyright Statement

Ruth Tietjen Councell

My father and I always had a strong and loving relationship. But when I was in my late twenties, my mother died and my father remarried. Our life changed dramatically. His new wife put up barriers between my father and his grown children, and we became estranged from our father. I felt devastated, abandoned, and betrayed.

During that dark time, I had occasion to visit the National Cathedral. In the Bishopís Garden there is a sculpture by Heinz Warnecke of the prodigal son being embraced by his father. Though the circumstances in our two stories were different, the essential element was the same: a painful separation between father and child. The image of a grown child in his fatherís embrace moved me to tears. How I longed for that embrace!

Eighteen years after his remarriage, my father died. I know that my father's heart was broken, too, by our separation. And so it must be with God. When we are separated from Him for any reason, He yearns to embrace us, just as much as we long to be held. He even runs out to meet us when we are still far off. (Luke 15:20)

Each time I paint this subject, I feel embraced once again. And I am strengthened in the knowledge that, ultimately, nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39)

Ruth Tietjen Councell

email: ruth@councell.net



In the Fatherís Embrace
Oil on Canvas
36" x 24"



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©2004 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts