When Lisa Tanis, the worship aids artist for Midland Park (N.J.) Christian Reformed Church, started to paint her first mural in the church’s Friendship Hall, she never thought it would take her a year to finish. So she titled it Perseverance.
'Perseverance' by Lisa Tanis
Tanis had painted other murals in the church. The one in the infant nursery, based on Psalm 23, creates an atmosphere of peacefulness and care.
Another in the toddler nursery depicts Noah’s ark; some of the toddlers have learned the names of all the animals.
Perseverance depicts two figures leaving the church door, going “into the world to preach the good news.” In the background is the skyline of New York City, representing the world—a scene readily observed from many locations around this church.
The beginning of the path is rough, evoking the difficulties many Christians have when they first share the gospel. As they continue the pathway gets smoother, until it becomes a highway as they mature in the Lord’s strength.
The tree at the side of the road represents the Christian life planted as a seed, starting small but eventually growing large enough to provide shade and relief.
Road signs next to the tree point to the center of Midland Park and “everywhere.” The tunnel is a reminder that sometimes the way is dark, but there is light on the other side as the Holy Spirit guides us.
The church was built in 1907 with a cobblestone foundation. For Tanis, each of these cobblestones represents a member of the church, providing support and a firm foundation.
Don Holwerda, a long-time member of the church, says Lisa Tanis and her family “have been a wonderful blessing to our church.”