Ron DiCianni’s mother was on the operating table set to have an abortion. She was not a Christian, though her mother who lived with her was and no doubt was in prayer for the situation.
The needle to begin the abortion process was just inches away. Then, Ron’s mother heard God “speak” to her, telling her not to have the abortion. He had plans for this baby she was carrying. With a change of heart, she pushed the needle away at the last moment, walked out, and never looked back. She gave her baby a chance to live—Ron DiCianni was born.
All through his growing years, Ron realized that God was developing his artistic gifts and making it clear that He wanted Ron to use his talent to honor Him. Ron has said, “Once, at a youth evangelistic meeting with probably 1,500 - 2,000 teens in attendance, the evangelist picked me out from the middle of the auditorium and called me to the front. He asked me if I was aware that God had chosen me. I said 'yes,' wondering how I was to explain this to the other kids on the van ride home.”
Ron met his future wife in 1967. She gave him his first set of paints and an easel and reminded him frequently of the call the Lord had made on his life to honor Him. After finishing high school and one year of college, they took a leap of faith. Ron enrolled in the American Academy of Art in Chicago. His parents could not afford to help with the tuition, so Ron and his wife Pat both worked to pay for the needed funds. Ron was a church janitor; Pat worked at an insurance company.
At the end of the first year they decided that Ron should stay for the three-year course, though they knew it would be tough to make it work. Ron was called into the school office about a week later and told him that someone had donated money to the school. Additionally they informed him that the school had decided to apply it to Ron’s tuition. Ron’s father had recently passed away, and Ron thought they did this because of his father’s death. When Ron discovered they knew nothing about his father’s passing, he realized that God was still paving a way for him.
Ron was shocked by the answer his instructors gave him when he told them that he wanted someday to devote his talents to the Christian community in hopes of bringing about a second Renaissance. He was not encouraged by his instructors at all, and he was told he would be much better off working in the secular art industry, like in an advertising agency.
Ron finished his schooling at the Academy and with high hopes devoted his God-given talents to realize his dream of being involved in a second Renaissance. He gave it his all for the next eighteen years, but then realized he just could not support himself and his family with religious art. So, he turned to working in the secular world.
Ron found great success in this work and was hired to do paintings for some of the word’s largest and best-known companies, including McDonald’s. He was chosen as the official illustrator for the 1980 Summer Olympics to be held in Moscow, an opportunity that would have given him great “name recognition” in America. When President Jimmy Carter announced the United States would boycott the Moscow Olympics that year, he and his wife were stunned and very disappointed in the loss of this opportunity. Though they could not see it at the time, they later realized that if Ron had done the Olympics job, he would have missed the different path God had in mind for him. Ron came to regard Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV as a life verse, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Ron continued his successful work in the secular area. He travelled internationally and became very well-known in the art world. All of this was a training ground for what was to come.
It was in 1989 that God opened a door and led DiCianni to create a painting that started a revolution—the painting called Spiritual Warfare. It was inspired by Ephesians 6:12 and is considered to have brought Christianity back into the realm of the Arts. The painting depicted the daily battle between the physical and spiritual realms and showed how prayer is the most effective weapon in that battle. That painting has remained a best seller to this day. Ten years later in 1999 he painted another masterpiece that he named Safely Home. Based on the Bible verse, 1 Peter 1:9, it depicts the victorious reward for a believer who has walked in the Lord’s footsteps on earth and now is welcomed “home” by Christ at his death.
In 2005 a fire at the Dallas Museum of Biblical Art destroyed the building and its contents. The Museum was eventually rebuilt and reopened on Good Friday, 2010. The Museum commissioned Ron to paint a mural twelve feet tall and forty feet wide. Today it is the featured exhibit at the restored museum and is a world- famous masterpiece known as The Resurrection Mural. It portrays the resurrection of Christ. On either side of Jesus, who is emerging from the tomb, are depicted heroes of the faith, like Noah, Elijah, Moses, Daniel, Abraham, Queen Esther, John the Baptist, and King David.
In 2013 DiCianni finished another masterpiece and his first pro-life piece. It was entitled Before I Formed You In The Womb, based on this verse:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart. Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
Together with his son, Grant, DiCianni works to have the painting distributed to pregnancy centers, abortion clinics, pediatrician offices and other such facilities with the hope of persuading women who are considering abortion to choose life for the baby instead.
Today Ron is considered one of the premier Christian artists in the world. He describes himself as “a Christian cleverly disguised as an artist”. He is an author and sought-after speaker, and has been featured in all types of mass communication media. He has collaborated with well-known Christian authors, such as Max Lucado, Joni Earickson-Tada, Jerry Jenkins and Randy Alcorn.
You, no doubt, have seen his work, though you may not realize that he created it. Many of his works are reproduced and appear on jigsaw puzzles, calendars, books, bookmarks, etc. God has used that first painting to create a whole market of Christian art.” One lady has described his work as “a visual translation of the Bible.”
Ron’s mother chose life for him and he was NOT aborted that day long ago. In one of GOD’S OTHER WAYS© the Lord’s life-plan for Ron DiCianni continues to use his art to further His Kingdom.
Post Note: It is estimated that the estimated 40-50 million abortions in the world every year corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day! In the United States, where nearly half of pregnancies are unintended and four in ten of these are terminated by abortion, there are over 3,000 abortions per day.