SOS is a distinctive Morse code sequence and not an abbreviation, but in popular usage it is associated with phrases such as “Save Our Souls” and “Save Our Ship”. Moreover, due to its high profile use in emergencies, the phrase “SOS” has entered general usage to informally indicate a crisis or the need for action. Wikipedia
Buy “SOS” print, by purchasing a print you will be supporting local organizations that help victims of human trafficking. All proceeds will be donated to Let My People Go, Wings Of Refuge, Garden Gate Ranch, Hope For Justice and Dorothy’s House.
No money was made in the making of this video using the song Rescue by Lauren Daigle. I do not own the rights.
Human trafficking is an incredibly real evil that exists everywhere in this world. In 2020, 10,583 situations of human trafficking were reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline involving 16,658 individual victims.
Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-8888 or text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733
The Lutheran Church of Hope hosted a conference February 5, 2022 called “Hope Against Trafficking” to help raise awareness about human trafficking. I was invited to paint live for the event as the speakers revealed information about this global epidemic. The problem seems to be almost invisible and clearly well hidden. God is raising up an army of people who are standing up against this inhuman evil. It was hopeful to see so many people show up for this conference and hear about all the action that is already taking place. But there is so much that needs to be done! Thank you to all of Hope’s staff, the guest speakers, local organizations, volunteers, and attendees for taking time to come together in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.”
Psalms 91:1-8 NLT
Symbolism in the artwork
I started this painting out with a black base to represent the darkness. I painted the roads first with the little bird standing in the middle holding a cellphone. This represents the victim in a vulnerable state and being in a dangerous position alone. Then I painted the moon light shining through the tree of life symbolizing that God is always with us. The snakes start creeping out of the dark grass moving towards the bird from many angles. Then I flooded the sky with light representing the Holy Spirit moving across the sky and then across the land into the tree causing it to bloom. The community of birds are then moved by the Holy Spirit to take action and they fly out to surround the bird in the street.
I used the Swallow birds to represent hope, freedom, community, resurrection, rebirth and God. When Jesus was on Earth he said “I come that they might have life” John 10:10. These birds mean rebirth or new beginnings and they symbolize a form of hope. Swallows are used as symbols in heraldry because they can migrate great distances from wintering grounds back to summer breeding sites representing travel and distance. There is evidence suggesting that swallows may even act as messengers between heaven and earth; some cultures believed these birds were able to communicate with spirits on behalf of humans living below. To learn more about the swallow symbolism go to Richard Alois.
“Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.”
Jeremiah 8:7 NIV
Read the Bible to find out the requirements of the Lord. God left us with a ton of words that instruct and guide us in this life so that we can experience a deep joy and an unshakable peace.
“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.”
Psalms 84:3 NIV
I used snakes to represent Satan, evil, the darkness and sin. I painted 7 snakes to represent the 7 deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. Snakes are mentioned in the Bible 80 times although snakes are not evil in themselves they’ve been used as a metaphor for evil in many cultures.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?””
Genesis 3:1 NIV
After the fall God promised that the seed of the woman would crush the serpents head. A prophecy that the virgin would give birth to the Son of God and He would have victory over the power of the devil. There is hope because of what God has already done. He sent His only son Jesus Christ into the world to claim victory over death. We can lean into Jesus to defend ourselves from evil. He will come again to judge the living and the dead at that point things will be set right. He will establish His kingdom on earth and all creation will be restored to it’s original harmless state.
“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Isaiah 11:6-9 NIV
While we wait for the second coming we need to spread Gods word to as many people as possible so they can experience Gods blessing now and have eternal life with God our Father. The evil one preys on the broken, lost, poor and innocent. It is up to us to be Gods hands here on earth and help the less fortunate. Just think about Jesus being disguised as the homeless, the addicted, the broken and the lost. I pray that people rise up and find ways to be apart of the solution. Speak up for the ones who don’t have a voice or too scared to send out an SOS.
“I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.”
Ezekiel 34:16 NIV
The iris flower commonly means wisdom, hope, trust, and valor. In Christianity, the iris was associated with the Annunciation, when angel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. In a broader sense, the three petals of the iris flower mean faith, love and wisdom. These are viewed as central aspects of a balanced spiritual life. Ultimately, the concept of three forces united as one is a dominant theme in many world religions. In Buddhism, there are Three Jewels: the guru, the teachings and the community. In Hinduism there is a triad of three deities: Brahma (father), Vishnu (son) and Shiva (spirit). Likewise Christianity has a Holy Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Learn more about the iris flower Kathleen Karlsen
The winding road symbolizes the ups and downs that we experience in this life. When driving along a winding road with many turns and twists a simple action you can take to be safe is to slow down. That is the same for the way we live our life. Are you in the fast lane chasing some earthly dream while your relationships with your spouse and kids are dissolving? I pray that people slow down on this journey and reevaluate what’s important in life. Are you trying to climb to the top of the corporate ladder, seeking fame or fortune, or acquiring an abundance of material riches meanwhile your kids are losing out on a relationship with you. Having a strong relationship with your family should completely out way any success you can achieve in this life. To have strong relationships you’ll need to spend quality time together.
I created a memorial under the tree with flowers, two picture frames, a lit candle and a cross with a white cloth draped over it to honor those who have lost their life and for those who are still missing. The cross with the white cloth represents the hope that comes from the resurrection of our savior and eternal life with our maker. The swing represents going outside to play and getting your kids off their devices. The landscape represents getting back in touch with nature. Spending time in nature is healing and restores the connection we have with the natural world around us.
The tree of life represents the wisdom and knowledge that God gives us to help guide us through this life. It also symbolizes family and community. I believe loving and educating children is the key to preventing trafficking from happening. Surrounding your family around a community of fellow believers. Start by being involved in your kids life daily and knowing what they are up to on and offline. Build trusting and open relationships from a young age so your kids can come to you if there is someone that is threatening or abusing them. Speak up if you notice something going on that doesn’t seem right with people you cross paths with not just your own children. Even if you happen to be wrong you might save someone’s life and keep them from a permanent psychological death.
Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-8888 or text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
Ephesians 6:10-20 NIV
This was one of the most challenging live paintings I’ve had yet. But I’m up for whatever comes my way!! I’m super grateful that God is using me and the art to help bring awareness. Thank you Hope for having this conference and speaking out about such a sensitive burnout of control issue. I am continually humbled to have these opportunities to learn, pray, worship, paint, reflect and share. A very special thank you to my dear friend Debbie Hudson, my 2nd mom 🥰 for coming to the event to show support and take pictures since my mom couldn’t be there.