An artist reflects on the healing hands of Jesus

Edgar Boevé ’53 and Ervina Boevé ’46


Summer 2011

Edgar Boevé ’53 has already firmly established his status in Calvin history as the founding father of the Calvin art department and, along with his late wife, Ervina ’46, one of the first persons to help the Reformed Christian community understand the importance of the arts in worship, culture, the classroom and everyday life.

He has earned the right to rest and let other Christian artists take up the cause of integrating faith and art. But rest is not what Boevé is all about, even after the recent scare of a torn aorta, 11 hours of surgery, and a regimen of recovery and therapy ahead.

“God has something else for me to do,” said Boevé from his recovery room in a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., care facility.

Boevé had just completed his recent artistic series, using fabrics to depict eight stories about the healing hands of Jesus in a short volume titled Jesus as Healer, published by the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship (CICW).

“I’ve always been aware of how the churches I worship in focus on prayers for healing and conduct healing services,” he said. “It was my goal to inspire people to understand that Jesus is here for every situation in life, whether to delight in a special moment or through one of life’s tragedies.”

The eight depictions of the healing hands of Jesus correspond to one of the healing stories in the gospel narratives, and Boevé asked eight friends to write short meditations on each art piece and story.

Boevé’s renditions are connected to reflections written by Timothy Brown, Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Leanne Van Dyk, Dewey Heetderks Jr., Walter Arnold III, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Randy Engle and Jack Roeda. All but Brown and Arnold are Calvin alumni.

His heart surgery has made the project all the more personal to Boevé.

“I’m the ninth story of healing now,” he said. “I’m part of the miracle.”

Jesus as Healer comes with a DVD that gives the reader a chance to see the artwork in more detail and to hear the healing stories read.

“I hope that people use this collection for personal or group devotions,” he said. “It is important for all of us to be reminded about how being in Christian community—the communion of the saints—is how the healing of Jesus is made manifest to us today.”

Jesus as Healer is available at the Calvin Campus Store or though the worship institute. Boevé is eager to experience the healing process as he plans to move back to Michigan for the summer months and, as soon as possible, give presentations on his new series of artworks.

“Believing in Jesus as healer does not mean that every earthly ill will disappear or be cured,” he said, “but it does mean that we can be assured that the hands of Jesus will be on us. His comfort and His care will always surround us.”

Alumni and friends wishing to send a message to Professor Boevé can do that via alumni@calvin.edu, and the message will be forwarded to him.