I am thrilled to bring back visual artist Lynda Lambert to my Spotlight. In today’s post she shares her vulnerability, her faith and how she met the challenges of approaching her life after suddenly losing her vision.
F R I D A Y F R I E N D S
“I Believe in Angels”
When I suddenly lost most of my sight in 2007, tremendous fear sometimes overwhelmed me. I pondered the meaning of my sudden plunge into a strange world I knew nothing about. Blindness! Because I have Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, it was nearly instant. There was no warning; there was no treatment for it; it is permanent and happens quickly. Most of all, it is frightening.
“Lord help me not to walk in fear. I am confused and I don’t understand what is happening to me and I feel so afraid. How will I spend my life?
How will I live out my purpose?
How will I manifest my talents?
I cannot see to do any of the things I normally do!
How can I make art?
How can I write books and stories again?
Oh, God! This is not how I want to live my life.”
Visual Artist Lynda Lambert Shares Her story
As a person with profound sight loss my daily experiences and new situations felt too heavy to bear. But, I’ve learned not to stay in those dark moments, but to begin to praise God for where I am right now and trust him to bring me to where I need to be.
Those who have sight loss encounter a steep climb uphill as we struggle to gain new skills and face the challenges of change. We face these fears every day because our normal activities become our challenges. From the beginning, we have to live our life in new ways through adapting to ordinary activities. This is where rehabilitation comes into the picture. Though we appear to be like we were before the sight loss, we are not. We need help. For me, that help came when I went into a residency rehabilitation program in Pittsburgh. After 3 intense months of training in just about every aspect of living, I came out of the program with the feeling that I could do anything I wanted to do. I just had to figure out how I must do it in new ways.
My faith in God’s good purposes for my life has helped me meet the challenges.
Because we are moving closer to the Christmas celebrations, I invite you to read a story from my latest book, Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems. The essay below appears in the December chapter of my book. I take my readers on a year-long journey from January through December. Each chapter begins with a poem and there are several non-fiction stories included.
A Meditation on the Angel Candle
by Lynda McKinney Lambert
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’” – Luke 2:8–14
When a celestial messenger appeared in the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus, we immediately knew that something miraculous was happening. Angels bring miracles!
An Angel visited some shepherds who were out in the fields at night so that they could watch over their sheep to protect the flock from predators. The visitation from an angel was completely out of the ordinary and the shepherds were frightened. But, the angel quickly told them, “Fear Not!” This angel was sent to make an announcement that would change the lives of humans forever.
In modern times, many Christians make an Advent wreath to display on a table. The wreath is a central part of the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus. The wreath holds 4 purple candles around the outside of a circle of pine. The circle is symbolic for the eternity of God. Christians light one candle a week prior to Christmas day.
The first candle stands for hope.
The second candle signifies peace.
Candle 3 is for Joy.
Candle 4 is for Love. This one is also known as the “Angel Candle.”
After the lighting of the Angel Candle, there is one final white candle that is inside the center of the Advent wreath. It is the Jesus Candle, and it is lit on Christmas day.
Just like that first announcement in the fields near Bethlehem, music and celebration of the Holy Birth are an integral part of our Christmas traditions as we consider the miracle of Christ’s coming into human hearts. We, like the shepherds in the dark fields, can turn around one day, and answer God’s call to “Fear not” as we hear God’s quiet invitation to change our life.
There is comfort in knowing that angels are still with us during challenging periods of our life journey.
In the angelic Christmas message, we can continue to live our lives in expectation of the miraculous. The weekly candle lighting during the 4 weeks of Advent reminds us that God is still in control of our world. Because of the gift of His son to the world we can receive His eternal gifts of hope, peace, joy and love through the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Fear not.
About Lynda McKinney Lambert
I live in the rural Village of Wurtemburg, in western Pennsylvania. My ancestors settled here in the mid-1700s and I love knowing I am walking on the pathways of my ancestors every day. I’ve been doing family research and work at developing the Family Trees regularly.
My daily routine varies somewhat each week but typically, I spend 3 mornings a week at the gym in our local Challenges senior center. My husband, Bob, and I are retired so we work out and then join others for lunch.
Besides exercise, my weekly activities include a knitting group and multiple walks with our two dogs in the woods by our house. We also have two cats who like to hang out with me in my writing office or my fiber studio. I am a visual artist and I create award-winning encrusted bead worked talismans for exhibition in museum and gallery shows. In October I received recognition and First Place Award for Crafts in the American Printing House for the Blind international exhibition, InSights17. I attended the opening reception and Awards Banquet for this show in Louisville, KY. Throughout my art career, my work has been viewed in over 400 exhibitions, world-wide.
I write daily. I like to get an early start and I am usually working well before dawn. I have published 2 books of poetry & creative non-fiction stories. I love working across disciplines and creating a collection of work that is a hybrid.
My published books are:
Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, Kota Press, 2002.
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017.
Currently in development: a full-length book of poems:
Star Signs: New and Collected Poems.
My books and articles reflect a Judeo-Christian World View.
Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage is a collection of historical notes, reflections, poems, and short non-fiction essays which I wrote over a period of years during my annual summers in Austria. I kept detailed diaries and made sketches in my journals. Later, I collected them and created this book.
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems is about my own life after I lost most of my sight. in 2007. I wrote the stories & poems in this book over a 7-year period as I experienced life in new ways. I organized this book as a travelogue through a year from January through December.
My professional life began at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where I earned a BFA degree in painting and an MA in English. Between these two degrees, I was in residency in Morgantown, WV where I earned the MFA in painting from West Virginia University. I feel deeply rooted in this area of Appalachia and I love studying Appalachian Culture in music, literature and art.
My writings reflect a deeply personal spiritual journey. I explore what it means to follow Jesus as an author, visual artist, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother from my vantage point in this century.
You may ask, “What are your themes?”
Living a joy-filled life
Creating paintings with words
Discovering God in the smallest things
The power of thankfulness
Appreciation of the Created World