I painted this painting several years ago for my prison ministry at a maximum security correctional facility which the inmates have nicknamed—the wall. I have spent around twenty years or so making cell house rounds behind the wall using a special state issued security clearance. We started passing out posters and small prints to the prison population in the mid-west and then the posters gradually spread throughout the entire prison system to reach both coasts.
The amazing thing is that this image even went to China through several missionaries who knew the painting would transcend human language and reach right into the heart. In addition to this, Alcoholics Anonymous used The Advocate along with my book for several of their prison courses which just blew me away. I even got a call from a friend of mine who secretly went into drug rehab and had to call me at the end of his class late at night just to tell me how much it touched him.
If you ever worked in Christian publishing markets you know it isn't any different then any other marketplace—people are people wherever you go. I thought this image was special and therefore didn't allow any commercial use of it to keep this experience free from the system. In spite of this, with no backing or system supporting it, this image reached across the country and around the world in a way in which no one profited but those who saw it. Wild.
Over the years I got busy paying bills working as an artist in the film industry and put this painting away for a while. Recently I started to release it on various blogs and on Facebook giving this image to another audience. The people who have it all together and are near perfect in their religious walk look at the painting and see a guy who really needs the Lord. Others who, at one time or another, hit a wall in life which left them broken and bruised but caused them to experience the love of the Lord actually look at the painting in another way—they see themselves. I do too.