Very early in the process of writing Humble Roots, I realized that botanical imagery would play a prominent role. I didn’t know this when I started, but as I began sorting through my own stories and immersing myself in the biblical text, it began to naturally emerge.
In many ways, Creation is an ever present reminder of our human limits and God’s divine transcendence, a tangible theology of humility. Perhaps this is why Christ directs us back to the natural world so often. It’s not simply that He lived in an agrarian society. By using natural metaphors, He is opening our eyes to see the specific ways that the heavens and the fields and flowers proclaim His glory.
By the time the manuscript for Humble Roots was completed, each chapter highlighted a specific plant to show how humility leads us to rest. At that point, I reached out to Michelle B. Radford, a landscape painter and art professor, to ask her to suggest someone who could make original sketches for the book. She did: herself.
Michelle expressed a sense of God calling her to illustrate Humble Roots and so over the next few months, she created sketches that visually communicate the truth of each chapter. They were so beautiful that I convinced her to turn select images into watercolors. Watercolors that are now available in the form of prints and note cards.
Scripture tells us that Creation testifies to God’s glory. Because of this, these images are offered for same purpose as my written words are: To teach us truth, to call us back to the Beauty the saves the world.
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