Achor, a Hebrew place name, literally means “disturbance”, or “trouble” for the town named with this word was in a border valley toward the wilderness that was often vulnerable. There was a reason in Israel’s past why the town was originally named “trouble”, and there is reason given by the prophet Isaiah for the future when the town will no longer be a place of trouble. But between that past and our future there is the plodding forward in our own valleys of trouble. We seem to have many of these valleys, and they seem to be claiming more of the landscape of our souls. Do you sense the growing dis-ease? Many I know are forcing smiles while privately worrying. The times we are in are remarkable. A plane goes missing in Malaysia and is immediately assumed the casue when a building explodes in New York. People are on their edges.

Hosea, another Hebrew prophet spoke of Achor too. He proclaimed that God was saying that for those whom He/God would draw out into Achor, that the place of trouble would become “a door of hope” (Hosea 2:15). What is happening on the ground, that you see and you feel is not the only reality working. In fact there is a super reality working even as I type. And it was working as I painted this piece. I started this panel in 2012, and it sat as an idea but an unresolved composition. I had to sit with it, not despise it, consider it and wait. Then this Fall, after seeing another visual prompt that moved me, in a burst of action my own work came to completion. I knew immediately when it was done.

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