Sketching the Good News — nightly

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Sketching the Good News — nightly (reporting from Shamokin Dam, Pa.): At a low point in his life, Bill Wiist found comfort in giving visual expression to holy words.

SHAMOKIN DAM, Pa. — When Matthew A. Wiist left home for U.S. Marine Corps boot camp in 2009, he asked a favor of his father, Bill, a talented artist.

The son requested that his dad pick an inspirational quote each day, draw a sketch illustrating the words and send the artwork to the young Marine as motivation.

For Bill Wiist, that daily exercise turned into a spiritual discipline.

Faced with a failed marriage and a lost job, the father — a former preacher who later worked as a newspaper advertising designer — sought comfort in the Psalms and poured his soul into nightly drawings depicting specific verses.

“I needed to keep inspired and keep my spirit up,” said Bill Wiist, 47, a member of the Susquehanna Valley Church of Christ here in central Pennsylvania.

Starting in 2010, Bill Wiist began illustrating a Scripture each night for himself. But when he started posting the Old and New Testament images on Facebook, he found that they encouraged others, too.

This story appears in the February 2015 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.