This is my personal tribute to remember one of the greatest apologists of our time, Ravi Zacharias.
Let me first start by praising God. He’s the only reason why I can do anything and have anything.
Have you ever had an idea or some sort of artistic story to relay about how you feel that you just couldn’t stop thinking about? That’s what this is. When I heard that Ravi was very sick, I was heartbroken.
I was painting when I heard. I immediately went online and started reading about his diagnosis, and listening to his last talks and sermons. I prayed to God for healing. I also wanted to express my gratitude to this man for His work in spreading the Gospel and giving a louder ‘voice’ to apologetics. I express myself in many ways, but the major way is through art. But what to paint? I started praying about it. I had a few ideas, but none of them resonated. Then one day, I was scrolling through Facebook, and landed on Ravi’s Facebook page. I saw an incredible photo uploaded to Ravi’s Facebook cover photo of him and his wife walking in a park down a path. It struck me… This…THIS… is what I’m painting.
But this wasn’t just any ordinary discovery or inspiration.
Interestingly, I did a strikingly similar painting for a friend of mine. Her Grandfather had passed away, and there was a lovely photo they had of him and his wife walking down the road in the same pose from behind. Except they had their arms around one another. So I took the image and made a concept: He’s going down one path, the final one. But she can’t go where he’s going yet and must go down another.
Ravi unapologetically preached the Gospel. And he did it with class, dignity, and most importantly- love.
He lost his battle with cancer. But did he really lose?
I’m saddened by this news. But at the same time, you know what? I’m joyful. Because Ravi *is* healed. He’s whole again, walking with Jesus. And he gets to hear what all of us long to hear… “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Because of the cross, death is dead.
The music used is “Almost Home” by MercyMe.
Behind the process of the painting and video: This was done in oils. 99% of what you see filmed was done in one long six-hour shot on two separate cameras. I drew on the sketch before filming. That alone would have taken about two hours. I had no order or sequence to the painting when I started. I just went for it. For filming, I had a friend, who I’d consider a professional film director, unselfishly help me film this project. (Thank you, Joel Vallie, I really would have messed this up if it weren’t for your help!) In essence, you’re seeing the ‘underpainting’ of colors. When the camera was off, it took me about another 6 to 7 hours to paint in the details. I recorded the last 15 to 20 minutes of finishing the painting and edited it into the last few seconds of the video. In total, this piece took me about 16 hours to complete. By far the biggest challenge was the technology. I’m an amateur editor, at best. Making the music with vocals work with the non-vocal is rather tricky. There are elements of both the actual painting and editing that I’d have loved to make better. But I did my best with what I had. All of this was low budget. I didn’t have all the correct oil colors I needed for the painting, either, as simply going to the store to get them wasn’t possible, and ordering it now takes weeks. I had to do with what I already had. For the video, what was pretty fun about it was I did the editing for the video first, then sort of dropped the music and Ravi sermons in. I was shocked at how organically most of it lined up. We filmed this a few days before Ravi passed.
Praise God for His gifts to us. Praise God for the cross. Praise God for our lives.
Psalm 115:1- “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”
Melissa’s Youtube page