Make your mark in life
Muriel Winn-Luedeman, Artist
Why the name, Arty Dragonfly?
In October, 2015 I was grieved and troubled over the loss of a young friend who took his life two years previously. He was plagued with juvenile depression for many years. Only family and close friends knew the battle he was fighting. His death robbed us all of joy. What is there to say to the parents? How does one overcome the tragedy of suicide?
Nick’s memorial service helped. The family addressed the issue of juvenile depression and I came away with new understanding that Nick suffered from a lack of something in his physical make up. There was little to be done for him except medication and counseling. I imagined Nick as a pilot flying a plane that had a malfunctioning landing gear. He could take off, but was unable to land without crashing.
As Nick’s anniversary approached, once again my spirit slumped into grief. Finally, I cried out to God, “Lord, you have said in your word that men were created to have joy. Show me where I could find any joy in this tragic experience! I just don’t understand.” At that moment, the Holy Spirit enveloped me in power, saying to my mind, “I came to make all things new. Nick is with Me and I have restored to him everything he lacked while he was on earth. I have made him completely whole and he is well and busy ministering with me now. I don’t want you to grieve for Nick any longer. He is able to fly perfectly now.”
All of the grief was gone and in its place was joy as I had never experienced before. It remains to this day. The next evening, I wondered how much of my experience I should share at my church prayer meeting. A dragonfly entered the sanctuary and landed briefly on the shoulder of the person presiding as he stood to give us his opening remarks, and then the dragonfly mysteriously vanished. I was encouraged by this unusual sign from the Holy Spirit and was bold to tell briefly all the story.
Later, at home, I Googled dragonflies. They are one of God’s most amazing creatures. They are stunningly beautiful with their transparent wings and iridescent bodies. They have eyes that can see in all directions. They are harmless to humans and beneficial, with voracious appetites for mosquitoes. They can hover and even fly backward. They carry great spiritual symbolism in many cultures - too many to go into here. All I can say is that, for me, they seem to be at the beck and call of the Holy Spirit. Delightful creatures of great ability, very encouraging creatures, they are! If God made me any other creature, I would want to be a dragonfly! Hence the name for my art program - Arty Dragonfly.