Multi-talented Davelyn Hill offers up this visual and poetic response to Luke 18:18-30, inviting the audience to participate in self-reflection along with the rich young ruler.
Questions, Detail 1
Questions, Detail 2
Questions, Detail 3
Read the accompanying poem: Questions
Creative Writing Genre
Painting photographed by
Artist Curated by
18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is , God. 20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? 27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. 28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. 29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, 30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
I love these verses on the Rich Young Ruler.
I used a recycled piece that is years old to create this work. It is mixed media, using acrylic, yarn, paper, wood, and metal. I have a philosophy about not creating art to sit in a warehouse or extra storage. For me, it is to be enjoyed as a part of the culture of a home or business. This piece did not sell so it was in the rework pile. I painted it the first time and apparently was able to process whatever I needed to and move on.
As I began to read the scripture in context, what struck me most was that he his hands were full. So, my figure's hands are full of balloons and treasures. He will not let go in order to grasp the hand of the other larger figure in the painting.
Where your treasure is there your heart will be (Matt 6:21). There is so much that he can’t see in the rainbow with the many colors and swirls, and textures — all he knows is that God is asking for what is in His hands.
The Ruler's Question:
1. Why do I need to sell everything if wealth is an indicator of nearness to God?
Davelyn Hill is the Program Director for Speaking Down Barriers. She has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Converse College where she is working on a second Masters in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry.
Known as “Davelyn Athena” in some circles, she is also an author, poet, and intuitive painter. She has featured at “Say it with Slay’” in Spartanburg, SC. Her art has been displayed through Spark and Echo, the National Equity in Medicine Online Gallery, and Neue South SPACE Walk. Davelyn Athena is a two-time Haiku Champion at Say What Haiku slam through Wits End Poetry. She recently held an online auction of her art to raise funds and awareness for a campaign to provide healing and resources to Black women who have been previously incarcerated.
Alongside providing counseling services, she has led support groups, presented research, and conducted university presentations around racial trauma and oppression. Most recently she has been coordinating with funeral personnel around issues with grief and is a part of a team of facilitators presenting public series on the grieving process. Davelyn is also a Level II Reiki Practitioner of the Usuimethod. She is a spiritual director, healer, life map retreat provider and spiritual midwife.