The Red Umbrella

Bamboo Forest by Brad Kelly

This image hangs prominently in each of our offices, as we feel it carries significant symbolism:
“Bamboo Forest” by Brad Kelly
The path separates two provinces in southwest China. The left side is Guizhou and the right side is Sichuan. This path has separated these two provinces for more than 2,500 years, runs about 500 miles and took over 300 years to build. It is about 5 feet wide and 6 feet deep. It was originally built to support military cavalry as the troops were transported between the provinces by horseback. Symbolically, the dark bamboo (bamboo does not easily break, but will bend) illustrates the obstacles, strongholds, troubles and hurts in all of our lives. As we look to healing, we leave the forest and begin our journey on the path. On the path, we look for the hope in the distance, which is the freedom we can find from our personal and spiritual conflicts. This hope is represented by the white light in the distance. This hope comes from the direction, comfort, and counsel received from wise people, like the counselors at Pathways, speaking into clients’ lives. This hope also includes the wisdom from Christ as revealed in the Bible, which we as counselors use as we formulate our guidance, and as we either privately or with our clients, pray to the Lord on their behalf and for guidance on our behalf. This path is not an easy one, as there are rough spots and bumps along the way as we follow it. The objectives set, the goals discussed, and the process in meeting them can be difficult, but, such is the path toward recovery. The red umbrella represents mercy and salvation from Christ, and the blood He shed on the Cross on our behalf. As the client progresses along the path, he/she is not alone, as the covering is there for the taking as the client submits to the Lord’s will for his/her life.