A Picture of Bondage – And Hope by Alix Orr

Our friend Alix Orr sent me this artwork that she drew and gave me permission to share it with all of you. You can read more about her story and that of her mother and siblings in You Know Me* by Kelly Orr. I will let Alix explain her drawing to you. Here she is:

Over the last week I have been processing some heavy memories of abuse that occurred at the hands of my father while I was a child. Through that process, I found myself with a picture in my mind which depicted my experience – the way I felt but couldn’t describe. Yesterday I was able to put that mental image into the form of ink on paper. Below is the result. Hopefully, the symbolism is easily deciphered, but for the sake of clarity I will point out a few details, which are very intentional.

The first three things you might notice are the window, the girl, and the sheep, but very quickly you will notice the wolf.

The girl represents myself.  Her hair is fairly neat, she isn’t dirty or seemingly injured, and she doesn’t look shocked or terrified. There is fear, but mostly weary resignation.  Her pale foot is visible by the wolf’s belly, showing that she is timelessly trapped.

The wolf wears the skin of the sheep as a disguise, in an effort to take on its  appearance of innocence and purity.  Yet the snarling, enormous head and malevolent eyes prove the territorial, malicious nature of the animal that is truly holding the child hostage.  The wolf, of course, represents my father.

Both the girl and the wolf look directly at the viewer. The girl seems neither to plea for help nor discourage approach, but the wolf is poised to attack anyone who comes too close.

Finally, the key element – the dove perched in the small window watches the dismal scene. He is clean, quiet, and soft, and his purity is not the wooly guise of the monster below him, but the truth of his being.

The light cast on the wall from the window doesn’t reveal his shadow, further demonstrating that he is no simple bird, but a symbol of the Holy Spirit’s constant presence in the darkness of my life. He is a symbol of hope.

Thank you for reading this, and for looking at the painting.  It is not my habit to paint such disturbing topics, but the truth is that sometimes, the only reassurance is the acknowledgment of the evil one has suffered.  Even with such strong symbolism, this kind of art gives voice to the reality of childhood abuse. My hope is that it validates those who have had similar experiences, so that they will know they are not alone, and reveals truth to those who have not seen the effects of such abuse firsthand.

If you feel that this piece will help someone else in any way, please feel free to share it with them.

I am healing, by the grace of God, and I know He is using you in the lives of others as they heal, as He is using you in mine.

*Unholy Charade is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  See additional information here.

7 thoughts on “A Picture of Bondage – And Hope by Alix Orr

  1. no one down here

    Particularly haunting is the look of resigned acceptance. This is just how it is. You have accepted the lie that there is no hope.

    Praise God that He IS hope. Despite the bad things that are done, despite being misused. Christ is still the Light giver.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. walkinginlight

    Quite a picture to take in. I can resonate with the drawing as my earthly father beat me as a child. I was literally petrified that if I breathed the wrong way I was going to incur his wrath.
    I once had a unsaved girlfriend that knowing the story of my childhood, was so amazed that I was the kind of “person” that she knew and saw. She rightly questioned this to me. This was a awesome time to witness to her about the love and restoration of Jesus, and I told her that it was because of Jesus that I turned out as the person she knew me to be! To God be the glory!!! What a wonderful witness to her. The Lord truly does bind up the broken hearted. Why I ended up with a mental/emotional abuser (a disguised antihusband wolf) is beyond me. I feel only the Lord will be able to explain that to me some day. He has been my only strength in this cold cruel world.

    MARANATHA!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I cannot imagine how painful it is to revisit your experiences, but I sincerely hope that doing so removes the veil that has held you captive, provides room for deep healing and leads you to the validation and peace you so richly deserve.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. walkinginlight

    God bless you and thank you Cindy for your kind words. When I sometimes am reminded of my childhood, it feels like a million years ago. A sad memory indeed. I feel all through the years the Lord had restored my heart and soul so I am not in bondage to the feelings that were inflicted upon me. Just a sad distant memory. I am most grateful for my walk with Jesus and all He has done for me. I am most looking forward to spending eternity with Jesus and like minded saints!!

    MARANATHA!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. walkinginlight

    Blessed be the Lord,
    Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth.
    Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of
    the trapper; The snare is broken and we have escaped.
    Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    Who mad heaven and earth.
    Psalm 124:6-8

    MARANATHA!!!

    Like

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