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Sculptor Encounters the Miraculous

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Amy Reid - 700 Club Producer

Morgan Elser is a talented artist and sculptor who loves to combine her creativity with her faith. Two weeks before Easter, her pastor asked her to do a piece of performance art during the Good Friday service.

‘"He wanted me to paint the head of Christ on canvas. And I said, ‘Okay, I'll try.’ And he sent me a video of a wonderful artist, and I kept trying to paint this head of Christ, you know, my own version of it. And it just wasn't coming at all.’”

After working three days, Morgan never felt comfortable with the results. So, she decided she would try a different approach.

“And so, I started doing the relief sculpture of the head of Christ. And didn't like it, but that's all that was coming out of my hands, and I thought, you know, this isn't what I'm supposed to be doing, but I was getting no other inspiration. It was very, very stressful.”

Morgan continued to pray. But when Good Friday dawned, she still didn’t feel settled about her plan for the performance. Then, her husband called her upstairs to show her an episode of the 700 Club where Gil Amelio was sculpting the head of Christ.

‘“I kind of just stood there; I was mesmerized, and I told my husband, I said, ‘I'm supposed to sculpt the head of Christ tonight.’”

That evening at the service, Morgan took her place and got to work, as the shapeless lump of clay came to life. ‘“They were doing a beautiful reading of the crucifixion of Christ. The lights were low, and I started sculpting. And…my hands were working. His face was emerging, and I didn't know anything else that was going on around me, it was just me and Christ. And I started working on his eyes, and it was like he just kind of spoke to me.  It's like he came to life. (crying) So, I started crying and was shaking so badly.  

It was just so devastating to have him right there in front of me and experience this pain and sorrow that he had suffered for us; feeling that closeness and feeling like you could hear him breathe, right there, laboring. Um, and I needed to put the crown of thorns on him, and I didn't want to, because I knew it would just cause him more pain. But I knew for this story to be finished, it had to be done. And I took the crown of thorns and I shoved it down on his head, and I told him, "I am so sorry."’ (emotional)

Morgan says there’s another reason creating the sculpture was a miraculous experience.

“It usually takes me six to seven months to create a bust, and this was minutes. This piece coming out of my hands in forty-five minutes was a true miracle.”

Today, the bust is on display in Morgan’s studio, and she loves to tell people about her personal experience with Jesus.

“It made Jesus more real to me, because it was such a personal interaction and then just realizing that he's still working miracles. I never could have imagined doing the head of Christ. I never could have imagined being so moved (emotional) with a piece of art. Following Jesus is an amazing, amazing adventure. He can use just ordinary people to do extraordinary things for his purpose and his glory.”    

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