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The Constraining Love of Christ

There are different forms of compulsion. There is that which comes from without, and then there is that which comes from within. 

The late Nick Evans, an ex-coal miner who retired at 60 many years ago took up oil painting. Without any formal schooling or training, his paintings have hung in galleries in London, and are now kept in the Welsh Museum. He is considered to be one of the leading artists that Wales has ever produced. Only 5% of his paintings have been viewed publicly; the rest are kept in storage by his sons. 

Nicky was a Christian who would street-preach, and would walk in those days, six miles to preach in a church, walk home for dinner, and then walk back again for the evening service. His paintings are all of coal miners, and done mainly in black and white, and most had religious connotations. For a studio, he used a small bedroom in his home, and at the beginning had no easel, but placed his canvas at the back of the settee. Such was the compulsion to paint that he would have at least six subjects in his mind at one time. He could visualise the finished painting before he started it! He was driven to paint. 

On his gravestone are written these words: 

Nickolas Evans
Pilgrim and Painter
I would rather lead a soul to the Lord
Than paint a Mona Lisa 

The love of Christ is not only attractive, but also compulsive. Moved by that inner compulsion to paint, and above that, moved by compulsion to love Christ, by the constraining love of Christ.