Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Life Without

Life Without
by Barbara Eccleston

“Life Without” is a prison term for people who are given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. My husband worked at a maximum security prison before he died. He used to come home and tell me how empty and hopeless most of those inmates’ lives were. The term seems fitting here because this painting is of a life lived without God – there is no yellow glow coming from time spent with the Lord, there are no heavenly blue thoughts or priestly purple deeds.

This ugly horse is imprisoned by his sins; black bars keep freedom out of reach. Everything surrounding this horse is worldly green; his thoughts, his time, and his treasures are all spent on earth-bound pursuits. The orange represents anger, bitterness and resentment – hurtful words drip out of his mouth and hang in the air around him like a destructive wake. The red represents sins of every sort, each one being an affront to the holiness of the Lord.

The black thing in this heart, whatever it is, is simple idolatry. All sin is just that easy to explain. If we wanted Him, we wouldn’t want “that” – whether it is pride, power, passion, prosperity, or privilege. It all comes down to a life without the Lord Jesus Christ and something black is sitting on the throne of this heart instead of Him.

Choosing a life without Jesus is choosing a life without the possibility of parole. Sin reigns relentlessly and the consequence is eternal. However, unlike those prison inmates my husband spoke of, the prison bars that hold this horse have but one key: the cross of Calvary. The Lord Jesus is always ready and always willing to pardon and to save.


  1. We have a prison ministry and give a teaching on the Word of God every week. It is amazing how men can change when confronted with God's Word. Otherwise, just as you say, something black sitting on the throne of their hearts! Some are full of thoughts of revenge until they turn to God. One of these men we met inside the prison admitted his mind was just full of how he would revenge himself against those who hurt him. But his life made a turn around and he memorized the bible and became the worship leader and now he is free and continuing to serve the inmates in the same jail he came from. Nothing is impossible with God! patsy

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this with me Patsy, your story has really blessed me today! I am so thankful for ministries like yours that are reaching out to this lost and forgotten population. We are all made in the image of God and as Christians we need to have that always before us.

      I have really been enjoying your wonderful blog site, it is packed FULL of places to explore and I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. Looking forward to knowing you better.

      Blessings to you and your ministry.
      - Barbara