Thursday, August 25, 2011

The symbolism of the anchor...

I have the lower border for the right tapestry about 75% woven now, and I want to explain why I have chosen to include some of the images/symbols that are in the tapestry as I complete them.

The first completed symbol is that of the anchor. This website has this to say about the anchor as a christian symbol:

The anchor became a key Christian symbol during the period of Roman persecution. As Michael Card observes in his recent album, Soul Anchor: "The first century symbol wasn't the cross; it was the anchor. If I'm a first century Christian and I'm hiding in the catacombs and three of my best friends have just been thrown to the lions or burned at the stake, or crucified and set ablaze as torches at one of [Emperor] Nero's garden parties, the symbol that most encourages me in my faith is the anchor. When I see it, I'm reminded that Jesus is my anchor."
...Epitaphs on believers' tombs dating as far back as the end of the first century frequently displayed anchors alongside messages of hope... Archaeologists found about 70 examples of these kinds of messages in one cemetery alone.

The scriptural reference for using an anchor is Hebrews 6:19: "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." (NIV)

Much of my own christian experience revolves around music, as I express praise with music, as well as in my artwork. So, as I was weaving this anchor, the old hymn "We Have an Anchor" kept going round and round in my head, keeping time with the beat of my weaving. If you do not know that old hymn, here is a good place to listen to an excellent sample of it (though it was not always sung with such verve and spirit all of the times I sang it growing up! I did not grow up in Reggae country, much is the pity.)

Here are some of the lyrics:

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,

Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love
I am hoping the church I am weaving these tapestries for will feel anchored when seeing
this symbol.

PS. And, by the way, yes, clouds have been my current photo obsession! We don't really have many impressive clouds here, or many clouds at all, for that matter. But this summer's monsoon season has been impressive, with huge clouds rolling in almost every afternoon and evening. Booker has decided he hates thunder (and wind) but I am loving the variety of having clouds! I MUST paint, and perhaps even weave, some of them.

1 comment:

Trish at Tangled Threads said...

Hi Kathy.
I think the red you chose looks great. The brighter one might have not only been a bit patriotic but taken over the image.