God, Our Strong and Reliable Umbrella

God, Our Strong and Reliable Umbrella

This past weekend during Grace Extended and Sunday Grace, we had “prophetic painting” throughout the service. Since this is the first time we have included something like this we wanted to share some stories of the process the artists went through leading up to, and while participating in, this prophetic painting exercise—as well as some testimonies from people in the congregation about how the paintings spoke to them. The following is from Nadine Fletcher as she shares about the prophetic painting she did at the Saturday Grace Extended Service.

God, Our Strong & Reliable Umbrella

by Nadine Fletcher

I just never knew how many people artwork actually touches and speaks to! Wow, the amount of people who came up to me, some eyes filled up before I could even explain my picture. WOW!

Its been an amazing journey that has led me to this place to this NOW – From a simple paper and pen sketch to a canvas so big, a palate knife and delicious, messy paint.

For the passed few weeks God has placed three images in my heart:

1.    Rain
2.    Umbrella
3.    Ephesians 1:18  “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…”

I was visiting my friend, Jamie, who is in the process of moving back home to the US, and she was unsure of her future. Her and her family had no house yet, and the shipping of her furniture and stuff had to be organized. God showed me a picture of her dancing in the rain. I did not really think it was going anywhere, but a few days later…

…I was sitting in a cab, in the pouring rain and I realized I had lost my umbrella. It was my strong, reliable umbrella that does not buckle in the wind. Most of the China-made ones that are quite cheap buckle in just a slight breeze. So I began tracing my steps, remembering that I had left it at Heather’s house after our book study meeting. In a panic I texted her to ask whether it was there. I accidentally texted Jamie instead, and she sent back 3 question marks, obviously not knowing what I was talking about. So it was then that the picture was made clear to me.

God is our umbrella, he is the STRONG and RELIABLE one who shelters and protects us from any storm that comes our way. Any questions we have, we should just ask him.

It has been raining on and off here in Shanghai, and God also showed me that by using an umbrella, you can walk in the rain—with his protection you can do anything! So if you are struggling with something, just trust God, pick up the umbrella and walk through it, HE is there!

The verses Ephesians 1:16 -22

16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[ of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church.

This has settled in my heart for a few weeks, that we need to open our eyes and see God—see that if we walk with him, that we will be enlightened! Our lives will be different. We will not be living in the darkness!

The meaning behind the painting.

It was an amazing experience to paint live—I was at first so so so nervous.

I learned that it is not a performance for the people, but an encounter with God! A way of worship!

I hope to practice this skill more and more, so God can use me to inspire others and so he can talk to others through me.

The umbrella in the picture represents God—and the group of people under the umbrella show that if you choose to walk with God then he places people in your life that uplift you—like church, life groups, fellowship, community—you are not alone. At the bottom I used red and white paint that is dripping off the bottom of the group of people. This represents Jesus’s blood that washed away all their sins and made them new. The body on the left, who is all alone is a soul that is lost; the reason he is so big, is that when you walk alone, you are full of yourself and not of God. The rain is only covering half his body, as he is in a time of decision. He knows the light is there but he has not taken the first step of faith yet. He is painted in a dark colour to represent the darkness.

The technique I used was one that my friend Jen uses when she paints. She has been an inspiration, coach, friend, teacher, supporter and counselor throughout my journey here in Shanghai… She helped me unlock the talent that God has given me and it was an honour to use her technique for my first Prophetic art project!

Waking up the next morning, Sunday, I have come to realize that the people under the umbrella are those who have helped me along my journey. I think God wanted me to realize just how many of you have guided me along, so I can now pass that on to others. I have of course so many of my dear friends back home and in Shangahi who have been patient, and given me the NEVERENDING support I need to pick up and move forward! Thank you!

A Blessing to Share

My friend Jessica wrote this after the evening of LIVE painting at AGIF:

“May you be blessed as you open yourselves up to the spirit of God! Be encouraged that people were deeply moved and inspired by your prophetic art. I indeed was and would like to share to you all how your paintings spoke to me.

the battle is well underway
there is a rainfall of darkened voices
that drench the soul and wash away
the path marked by the blood of the lamb

the battle is well underway
covered bodies dress in robes of white,
overcome the accuser, and walk 
the path marked by the blood of the lamb”


Thank you for reading! I love painting for a purpose. Whether it is helping raise funds for the South Africa mission trips or whether it is to touch someone’s heart. God is good! Create your life the best you know how!

Keep strong