The Transformation into Artistic Purity & Integrity: Also A Reflection On Ministry


This painting was done by the hands of the students of Arumdri ministry, a ministry to people with autism and developmental disabilities. It is an adaptation of Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son. It emphasizes warmth, embrace, forgiveness, kindness, and grace. Here, the Father enfolds and embraces the child. Compare it with the original work by Rembrandt:


In coaching and guiding their hands and colors throughout this past year, I have felt and experienced their love, frustration and gradual acceptance of me. The picture you see above is 1 of 3 completed; but there are many layers underneath, painted and re-painted; for them it was therapeutic and nurturing to push around warm colors on the canvas. I felt somewhat exploitative of their work – repeatedly trying to let it stand on its own right, in its own light – but ultimately I had to defer with what was “hangable.” Perhaps I have compromised some artistic integrity in that and for that I am honest and remorseful; still I am seeking to find a place where their expression will stand alone as “hangable” – true art – and I am looking for this place.

From a different vantage point, and that of ministry: I have repeatedly found that the greatest ministry I will ever do is amongst those who will give me no accolades, will not “grow” my church as the formula goes, will not advance my scheme, my agenda or my empire, and yet will give me Everything in return. I receive my deepest Treasure from them.

In time you will see more and more of these paintings on this space; giving testimony to this process in growth and purity.

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: