A local artist paints works inspired by scripture and moments in his life and says God speaks to him through his paintings.
Jeff Zacharias is a 59-year-old self-employed painter who uses his faith to fuel his art. "I see something that moves me and I paint it. Sometimes when I feel the Holy Spirit moving through me, it becomes so easy," Zacharias says.
Recently, Zacharias was reminded by a devotional of a painting he created on January 7, 2016. It was a difficult time in his life. "I was at a job I'd been at for 14 years but it was really stressful and my mother-in-law was in her last few weeks of life. My wife was going through a hard time and watching her was difficult," Zacharias says.
"I wanted to do a winter painting and I thought it might be for my sister-in-law," he says. Zacharias was mistaken.
"A couple of weeks later, my mother-in-law passed away and right after that I departed from my job and God spoke to me about the painting.
"No matter the tough season that someone is in God has a bigger plan and there's hope for the future."
"The painting was actually for me. The barbed wire was for me. It showed that he had removed the job and the stubble field in the background represented past harvest and seasons. It shows future seasons to come and the storm clouds in the sky were moving off in the distance. They are another promise from God that there will be a new day," Zacharias says.
He was moved by the message. "Shortly after that, I started a new job and felt I was heading into a new season. I came across this photograph of Spring and it spoke volumes to me.
The painter began a new piece, one focused on new beginnings. "You can see the snow in the background and the cross represents that this is all for God's glory. No matter the tough season that someone is in, God has a bigger plan and there's hope for the future," Zacharias says.
"Song of Songs 2:10-12, says 'the season has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers.' That really spoke to me, that is exactly what God has done," Zacharias says.
The painter continues to feel moved by the Holy Spirit and is now working on a new painting for a member of his church.