From Hurt to Hope
In 2008, a homeless man saw my painting, “Hands of Transformation”, on display at church. He stood in front of the painting showing the hands of Jesus holding the broken eagle. Willie, breathing deeply, said, “This does something for me”. Willie was transfixed because he saw himself in the painting, knowing he was broken and not where he needed to be, resting with Jesus.
Willie wanting to give that same inspiration to others talked to numerous people and organizations trying to find a way to give to other homeless men and veterans the hope he received; but no one followed through.
Finally, I told Willie, “I’ll help”. I wrote a story with Willie, talking of our brokenness and the transformation which we both have experienced with Jesus. Featuring the story and painting we created a card called, “From Hurt to Hope”.
Now Willie takes “From Hurt to Hope” cards with him as he walks the streets of St. Louis and as he works (As of June 2010, Willie, has a full-time job working with people he understands and has a heart for.) taking every opportunity to tell the broken people on the street about the hope he has received.
“From Hurt to Hope” is a tangible, well received gift, which shares the healing work of Jesus. One of the men who received a card, a veteran, overwhelmed with post-traumatic stress syndrome and now homeless, told me, “As soon as I saw the painting (on the card), I realized that after all I’ve been through, I just needed to rest with Jesus.”
“From Hurt to Hope” cards have been passed from prisoner to prisoner in a Missouri state penitentiary. I received a letter from one prisoner who, as an addict, deeply identified with Willie’s struggle and shame. “This heart wrenching story of God’s true love for us…was so impactive, I found myself full of inner tears that overwhelmed my soul…. The card is so uplifting (for) those of us striving for a new way of life.”
Willie and I invite you to participate in this ministry of “From Hurt to Hope”:
- For every box of “From Hurt to Hope” cards sold, Art of Carla donates several cards to Willie’s ministry.
- My family keeps granola bars along with the “From Hurt to Hope” cards in our car; easily accessible to give to the homeless people we meet.
- Wholesale pricing is available for those wanting to use “From Hurt to Hope” in ministry. Contact Carla for more information.
- Purchase the cards on the "Note Cards" page.
“Hands of Transformation”...
...is a painting illustrating God’s never failing love (shown by the heart). Out of God’s love the hands of Jesus form to hold the hurt (shown by the broken porcelain eagle), healing and transforming them until they bust out in flight and soar!
I have been hurt by others, harmed by injustice. My mistakes have wounded me and those I love. My dreams and my heart have been crushed. Filled with self-condemnation I am broken; too tired to hope; without peace; alone.
“I carried around a lot of shame and guilt. These feelings were really scary and fearful to face. My unaddressed emotional scars evolved into uncontrollable habits and behaviors. I looked for relief in relationships that went sour, drinking that led to drugs; my loneliness led to promiscuity. I was out of control—blinded by my wrong and no one can change me.”
-Willie (homeless veteran in St. Louis, Missouri)
No matter what you have done, God hears your cries and can heal you.
I was filled with emptiness until I called out to Jesus; pleading for His mercy. Instead of blame and condemnation, Jesus offered me forgiveness. I asked Him to take my sins, the hurt I’ve caused—my entire crushed life.
[Jesus] was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows,and familiar with suffering…. He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God,smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. -Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV
Because of Jesus’ forgiveness, “I have learned to ask for forgiveness and more importantly to FORGIVE!” -Willie (rebuilding his life)
God has always loved you. He will transform your life too, if you let Him.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.”