Freedom within the fences

This image, in all its mundanity, is just what I am looking for.

I am walking in the city of Peoria – a deserted downtown, if ever I have seen one – with a goal in mind: to get a photo of something to represent my recent musing on the Ten Commandments (or, in the Hebrew, the Ten Words).

I studied them earlier in the week and illustrated my thoughts. But today, I want something that captures the wonderful relationship between freedom and restraining rules. Something that represented what David describes in Psalm 119:32:

“I run in the path of your commands
for you have set my heart free.”

A few minutes ago, I encountered a huge statue of the painting American Gothic. The unbelieving, Western world often views Christians as rigid, joyless rule-followers. They often accuse of us trying to force our morality on others, like holy fetters, chaining society to archaic, life-restricting laws.

How far from the truth that is!

I’ll let my drawing take it from here.

You, Lord, are our loving law-giver. We thank you that you have cared enough for us to keep us safe. Your laws are the perimeter we need. You have set our hearts free. Help us to recognize how you fill the vast space within those fences.

Readers: how would you describe your relationship to the law of God?

Tell me about it.

Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And if you liked this, please use the buttons above to share it.

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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