A journey of discovery of the Psalms
Why am I drawing the Bible? For many, the Bible is a closed book. People know it is famous, but they don’t read it because it seems to have a complicated aura about it. I would like to visualize the Bible with a few pen strokes. In a picture, I summarize the effect the text has on me and want to share it with others. We can read the Bible like children: curious, open and full of anticipation.That is why the illustrations are simple and childlike.
The Book of Books, the Bible, is an exciting handbook for everyday life. The visualizations of the individual verses of Psalm 119 are an inspiration to read the Bible again and with different eyes.
In a fast-paced, digital, global world, you get lost if you neglect your foundations. The artistically illustrated texts of Psalm 119 are a source of strength and a valuable guide, not only for Christians.
A wonderful companion for your life.
“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold won- drous things out of thy law” (Ps 119:18). This is one of the verses from the psalm that Marianne Schütze has illustrated. God is asked to assist people in recognizing the wonderful things about his instructions. But why? Is it really that important? Aren’t laws issued so that people follow them? Why should I nd joy in the Lord’s instructions? These questions take us to the heart of the Old Testament. They touch the heart of God, whom we praise with the psalms. Simchat Torah is the name of a joyful festival with dancing and sweets that the Jews celebrate in October. In English: rejoicing in and with the Torah. The people of the rst covenant, our elder brothers and sisters, have an advantage over us: They have experienced that, although God does make claims on us with his word, his desire is not to place burdens on those who listen to him. The Ten Commandments begin with deliv- erance: “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2). Ideally, the fundamental freedom of the children of God will nd expression in a life that is lived according to his instructions. Keeping God’s law need not be hard. We can nd joy in obeying it. Marianne Schütze’s illustrations have that sense of ease about them. They bring joy to my heart. They open my eyes to the wonders of God’s law.
I am amazed! The wonderful world I find myself in as a human being positively dazzles me with its beauty and many colours. And then there are the countless people, all so different, each one so unique! I am also thrilled by life! I am amazed that I myself am breathing and alive! I am amazed! This old planet earth is being positively plundered. It seems as if it cannot sustain the many people anymore more, doesn’t it? The glaciers are weeping, the heavens groan and the earth trembles. People push, shove and strike out. Why is it like that? How can life on this earth succeed? Marianne Schütze takes up the rich declarations from Psalm 119. They point to the origin of life: the one living, loving God, who has entrusted us with life. He has also shown us instructions and decrees as to how this life can succeed in harmony with him. The following reflections and prayers on individual verses from Psalm 119 and the appealing illustrations take up the psalm’s basic tone: it is not just about obediently observing God’s commandments but about taking joy in this guidance. God speaks into our life. We humans are not without guidance, without a way, without hope. That makes us rejoice! We rejoice in God’s guidance, rejoice in God himself and rejoice in life and the beauty of this world
Certain symbols keep reoccurring in the illustrations.
The upside-down hearts are God’s love falling down onto us from heaven. When we receive them, the hearts stick to our clothes and our character.
God’s commandments are written on the golden tablets of the law. They are God’s directions to guide us to our true identity.
The luminous figure is the symbol for the Word of God in the biblical verses. Jesus, the eternally Living One, who repeatedly spreads out his arms over us.
The colourful flags are our encounters with God, which we can never forget. Testimonies are experiences that we carry with us and share. They are like markers that we drive into the ground on our path and we know: God’s goodness encountered me in this place.
The girl is a symbol for all of us. She stands for everyone who encounters various questions on the path of their life. The clothes represent our identity. When the hearts stick to them, it can be seen that we are carrying God’s love in us.
In the hearts you can see our human love. It is the love that we pass on to others.
God’s paths are the roads our heart chooses to follow. Their golden colour stands for the guidance that God’s word gives us. On these paths our heart is protected.
The dark roads are lies that lead us astray. They are decisions that lead us away from God and are an expression of our distrust towards him.
Life is full of beauty. It is waiting to be discovered by us. The flowers symbolize God’s manifold gifts to us, which we can enjoy.