Cardinal II

Acrylic on Canvas | 2019 | 12in x 12in



By Christy Barber


“You are not beautiful”
“You can never do anything right”
“You are not good enough”
Words hit their mark
With deadly precision
What was once a free heart
Slowly turns to a prison

The arrows strike the same place
Over and over again
Blood flows freely
Pain breaks the spirit
Hope turns to despair
There is only one way to survive!
Don’t feel, don’t hurt, don’t care

Don’t let the arrows in

Blood stops flowing
Stone begins to fill the aching abyss
It feels so good
So safe
That she places more stones in there
Soon they solidify into one solid piece of

Impenetrable stone

The words cannot hurt anymore
A deadly silence reigns in that place of stone
An eerie peace for certain
But peace at last
Is all she knows or cares about
Harder and harder until her heart becomes




“You are beautiful”
“You are chosen”
“You are a princess in the kingdom”
Where are these words coming from?
Why are they aimed at me?
Pain starts to sear through what once held peace
No, you cannot come in!
You are not welcome here!

The words keep repeating over and over her broken spirit
The pain is overwhelming
Tears flow
How did this happen?
How did this get in?

“You are alone”
She keeps repeating
Trying to save the stone
To prevent the pain.

“You are not alone”
“I will never leave you”
“I love you”
Is the reply

The tears continue to fall
Yet there is a peace beginning to come with them
What was once pure stone now has something else
Life giving blood begins to slowly flow
Filling what was once grey with a beautiful

“You are my beloved”
“I created you to be beautiful”
“I want to be with you”
The words keep coming
The stone keeps crumbling
The tears stop falling

The heart is beating stronger now
Great waves of life giving blood pour over the stone
Breaking it to pieces
She is ready now for the work
The work of redemption
She Believes!!

No longer a heart of stony places
No longer a fortress of pain
Nothing can contain this new heart
Red overflows onto those around
Love abounds