When a hand tremor ended Herry Priyonggo’s career painting movie posters at 22, he turned the pain into singing. Now God has led him back to the canvas.
At the age of 22, Herry Priyonggo felt he had found his calling. For the past six years, he had grown a reputation as the best movie banner painter in Indonesia in the ’60s and ’70s, with his artwork of famous Hollywood and Hong Kong actors gracing movie theater fronts in Jakarta and other cities. His income supported his family.
But one fateful day in 1975, his right hand failed to cooperate. Every time he picked up the paintbrush, his hand shook uncontrollably. It became impossible to work.
Priyonggo, now 71, remembers going into the bathroom and wrestling with God. He demanded God heal his hand: “If you are indeed almighty, it must be so easy to heal me. If you don’t heal me, I will not believe in you any longer.”
Hour after hour, in the damp and cold bathroom, he poured out all his despair until he was too exhausted and fell asleep.
“When I woke up in the morning, my hand was not healed,” Priyonggo said. “I was very disheartened, but I decided to keep my faith in [God].”
To this day, despite continued prayers and consultations with doctors, Priyonggo has yet to see God answer. Bouts of despair continue to overwhelm him at times. Yet in time he has found a fulfilling life he could never have imagined: a career as a well-known worship music composer and the founder of a music group that has performed in churches all over Indonesia. In his later years, God has allowed him to even return to painting—this time, Christian art.
“The longing for my hand to be healed remains high, even today,” he said. “But I started realizing that God has a much better plan for me. He has opened up other opportunities for me to be a source of blessings for many more people.” …