Title – Montelle’s View
Mixed Media on Canvas
Montelle’s view tells a story. The setting is Christ Church off Old Hickory near Nippers Corner in Nashville Tennessee. Montelle, Pastor Hardwick’s wife always sat at the top of the left descending balcony. Montelle, always surrounded by family and old friends, watched over her husband as he preached. Her husband Pastor Hardwick, lead the church choir in old time hymns, made the congregation roll in laughter, challenged them to improve, or consoled them in times of mourning.
Montelle and the Pastor met as teenagers and have been in love ever since. She had supported him for many years before I was born and to hear them talk would correct and advise him when he needed it. Besides keeping the Pastor straight, her job in the church was to bring hope and encouragement to the down hearted, to hug those starving for attention, to shepherd young girls and women, and to “exemplify” her Husband’s messages for the rest of us to follow.
Montelle was never without a word of hope and encouragement and this is where she sat as she guarded the congregation with her prayers. I being one of the ushers in the balcony would always pass Montelle as I brought the offering forward – this was the picture that I saw during those times.
Montelle fought a kidney problem for most of the years I knew her and ultimately died from it. Her sickness might have controlled her body and schedule but she never complained about her problems as she helped others face theirs. Of course, the Bible in the picture – turned to Proverbs 31:10-31.
This Impressionistic Painting was designed to look similar to a Krause Painting hanging at Christ Church and is the cover of the first Love Letters from God Book. Theresa Heflin the author of the book would spend time reading the Bible, then go for a walk, and meditate on God’s word. After her walk, she would write down what she felt God was saying to her. Weeks after she started doing this she found what looked like a series of “Love Letters From God.” Others who have read her books had similar experiences. She wrote about 365 letters a year.