THE ART OF SUNNY SIU


The name of this website "MyJacobsWell" came from a lesson that I have learned from the Bible. Yes, I am a Christian - a follower of Jesus Christ.

Here is an overview of the following information.

Jacob, the younger son of Isaac, was one of the patriarchs that was chronicled in the Book of Genesis. After working for his father-in-law Laban for twenty years, Jacob, under God's instruction to return to the land of his fathers and to his relatives(Genesis 31:3), embarked on a long journey back to the land of Canaan with his wives and children. Such long awaited journey would also put him on a collision course with Esau, a twin brother whom Jacob had tricked and angered two decades earlier. With much fear, Jacob approached Esau with caution and devices of his own; yet God's grace had already defused any animosity that had once consumed Esau's heart. Esau welcomed his brother with genuine tears of joy and warm opened arms; Jacob however responded to his brother with doubt and hesitation. Instead of trusting and following Esau to travel south to his home in Seir, Jacob fearfully took his family, against God's will, to the west and settled in Succoth. Eventually, they would move further west to a place called Shechem where two events would follow. First, Jacob would purchase a plot of land from Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, and this land will later become an ancestral inheritance to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph who himself was Jacob's favorite son; second, Jacob's only daughter Dinah would be raped by the son of Hamor, the very person whom Jacob dealt business with. In response to such heinous crime, Jacob's sons retaliated with a scheme of deception that would manipulatively lead to a genocide of all the men of Shechem. With much bloodshed, Shechem was mercilessly plundered and Jacob's sons carried off everything from the land. (Genesis 34)

About 1700 years later Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, would deliberately trekked through the hostile land of Samaria to reach a specific location near Shechem; His destination was a water source known indigenously as the Jacob's well - a well that the Samaritans believed was given to them by Jacob and he himself had drunk from this well. Arriving at the precise moment, Jesus and a certain Samartian woman convened at this Jacob's well - a place of simple daily task, a place of monotonous labor, a place where its bloody history had been long forgotten, a place of seemingly insignifcance; yet it was at this very place where the Samaritan woman was freely given a living water that would bring to her eternal forgiveness. (John 4) Jesus undoubtedly knew that it was at this specific well where He was sent by the Father to meet this Samaritan woman. We don't know if Jacob had indeed built this well in Shechem, or did he claim an existing one after his two sons, Simeon and Levi, murdered the men of Shechem without forgiveness, love or mercy, or perhaps this well was simply named in honor of Jacob by his descendants at a later time. We do however know that Jacob's well was the very place where Jesus came to extend His forgiveness, His love and His mercy to this Samaritan woman; subsequetnly, many from her town believed in Christ because of her faithful testimony. The builder of this well, whether he were indeed Jacob or someone else, had in mind a purpose of convenience, necessity and survival for the construction of such practical facility. This same well, in the presence of Jesus, was however transformed from a common facility to an extraordinary instrument of hope and newness. Could Jesus have met with this Samaritan woman somewhere else? Yes, I believe God could have easily done so; however I also believe this story was supposed to happen the exact way it did, so that we, the followers of Christ, could understand that our lives matter not just to God and to ourselves, but also to those whom God will entrust to us. Our actions, our choices, the very way we conduct our lives, may it be as unglamorous and unexciting as building or maintaining a well, could become, if God is willing, the very place where He uses to touch and change someone's life forever just as He did with the Samaritan woman. Our obedience and faithfulness to God might just pave the way for others to reach to their own "Jacob's well" where Jesus awaits them. The builder of Jacob's well most likely didn't know the divine purpose of his construction, but God was faithful to this Samaritan woman and to us that He had this well made and kept by generations of people for up to 1700 years until the chosen moment came for her. Surely, we could live our lives with modest degree of responsibility, even "Christian responsibility", and it will humbly suffice. However would not the days of our lives be so much more purposeful and well-spent, if we would yield to the belief that our lives could indeed be a part of God's perfect plan and our sacrifices could be the very stones that assemble another person's Jacob's well.

Paul teaches us in the book of Philippians that we must not look only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4) Cicero, a Roman philosopher, echoed this same notion in a simple yet poweful way : non nobis solum nati sumus - "We are not born for ourselves alone." I believe I wasn't born for myself alone. I believe my life is undoubtedly a blessing to me; I believe my life could also be an extension of His forgiveness, His Love and His mercy to all those whom He will entrust to me as family members, friends and even complete strangers. MyJacobswell is a commitment I gave to God that I shall live my life as unselfishly as I possibly could. MyJacobswell is a reminder to me that I willingly choose to offer my whole life as an instrument for God's purpose: grand or small, mundane or laborious. MyJacobswell is a lifelong prayer that God will lead people around me to their own Jacob's well. It is also my pledge that I will be the keeper of His well where His living water could still be freely found by the hungry and the thirsty. MyJacobswell is where I will stand for God.

Art plays considerably a huge part of my life; therefore it must be in line with God's will. My deepest desire is to be able to use my art as a form of Jacob's well if He chooses to. God has already blessed me with the foundational lesson that I must use my art to love His people because my God is a God of love. Most of the paintings in the general category were done and given to various people as tokens of my love and blessing. If a lamp is not meant to be hidden under a bed, then neither will I hide my artistic abilities from God's purpose; afterall, such abilities were gifts from Him in the first place. My dream is that God will allow me to produce Biblical illustrations for the sole purpose of leading people to the Bible where His words will transform their lives as did His living water with the Samaritan woman two thousands years ago. If the well itself, rather than its builder, served God for His purpose, then may my arts yield to God as faithfully, obediently and tirelessly. If the well in the presence of Jesus Christ became an instrument of righteosness, then my art will longingly wait for His presence just as I do.

Who will come at the appointed time to meet Christ at MyJacobswell? I do not know, but I know that Christ will not forsake those whom He is sent to meet by the Father. He will be there, won't you?

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non nobis solum nati sumus
In Him,

Sunny Siu