It was an absolutely beautiful day for a retreat to “The Cross at Kerrville, TX. It was perfect for an unhurried walk through the Prayer Garden which is laid out in the shape of a cross. The Empty Cross was breathtaking by it sheer size. It is 77.7 feet tall and it is majestic on the Kerrville, Texas horizon. My friends and I felt tiny standing inside the massive empty cross.
Several years ago I was on my first solo road trip after my husband passed away. My destination was Uvalde, Texas. I missed an exit and ended up in Kerrville. I noticed the large cross in the distance but didn’t take the time for the tour. When I finally had a cell phone signal and called me friend in Uvalde she encourage me to take the scenic route through Ingram and Hunt.
I am so glad that Renee scheduled The Cross at Kerrville as part of our Watercolor Workshop and Retreat.
Why is The Cross at Kerrville Empty?
According to the artist, Max Greiner, Jr., “The Empty Cross communicates the resurrection, that Jesus is alive not dead. Its “hollow” or “empty” design allows light to pass through, symbolizing the “Light of the World” (John 8:12), that comes to us through the cross”.
“The openness of the design communicates that all people are welcome at the foot of the cross. This is the “Open Door” all must pass through to find eternal life in Heaven (Matthew 7:7&8). Finally the cross also represents the price Jesus paid for each of us.” (excerpt taken from “The Art of Faith” by Max Greiner, Jr.)
“I will Make You Fishers of Men”
Our first sculpture encounter was with “I Will Make You Fishers of Men”. The plaque at His feet tells us that it is a call to follow Jesus in ministry, to become fishers of men.
The brilliant red poppies were in full bloom. I didn’t stop to smell them as I already knew what they smell like and they don’t smell like roses!!! But, I did stop to photograph them. They look so fragile but they are able to withstand and thrive in the everchanging Texas weather. Poppies love the hill country soil and moisture. I may have to paint them someday.
“Hope” in the Prayer Garden
Our next pause was at “Hope”. “Hope is the most recent addition to the Prayer Garden. It depicts Jesus comforting a broken hearted momma as He cradles her infant lost through miscarriage. I love that Max created that work showing Jesus holding her hand.
That sculpture touched my heart in a special way. I did not have a miscarriage. I carried our sweet, little daughter full term and went into labor naturally. She died in the birth process. That was in the 70s so we didn’t get to see her, touch her or hold her. The first time we saw her was at the funeral home. I was a young believer at the time of our loss but I knew that our precious “Twinkle” was in His loving arms.
“The Divine Servant” before the Cross!
“The Divine Servant” was the next statue. “So He got up from the meal and took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that He poured water in a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” John 13:4-5
In January of 1990 Max began to work on the life-size sculpture, using two friends as models. Max worked 14 hours a day for 6 months, with the help of Jose Mendoza, an employee.
To me, the work was breathtakingly real. I was captivated by the the details. His towel showed the folds as it is wrapped around His waist and falls to floor behind Him.
Look at the veins in His hands and arms and the way his hair falls around his face. I couldn’t get a good photograph of His face. Peter’s face was rugged as he looked down to watch Jesus humble Himself to wash his feet. Jesus knew in a few short hours that He would be laying down His life for these men that He loved so much. And He not only laid down His life and shed His blood for those men but for everyone.
“The Lion of Judah”
Quote from Max: “The “Lion of Judah”™ composition symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the Jews, the strong and fierce defender of God’s chosen people. Throughout art history, Jesus Christ has been depicted as the gentle “Lamb of God”, which He is. However, He is also the mighty “Lion of God”, the warrior King who is returning soon to “judge and make war” on those who have rejected His love and hurt His children.” (Revelation 19:11)
“The Coming King”
My favorite sculpture was “The Coming King”!!!
He is not a baby in a manger anymore!!!
Do you know Him?
Is He your savior?
Have you made Him Lord?
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called
Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself”. (Revelation 19:11-12)