Viva Tall Poppies


Water of Life is a personal prophetic painting.
Painted by Wendy Manzo in the Creative Hearts Art gallery studio.
As I painted, a prevailing calm took over and I sensed the cascade of water was the river that flows from the throne room and the phrase “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations”. The presence of peace was strong.
I saw doves, and then geese flying in formation. This speaks into two aspects of the leadership journey. The dove represents the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit. In a flock of geese, there is no one leader, each bird takes turns at flying in the front, falling back into formation when they are tired. In this way, the flock conserves energy. Geese are not born with this ability; they learn it as they care for one another. This symbolizes being placed in a team, in a ‘flock’, where the synergy and energy of the team form an ease empowering you to perform the tasks ahead. There are six geese in this painting. Six biblically represents humanity and many governmental aspects of work and worship. It also represents a heart for people. The fruit of the tree is depicted in red, yellow, and orange, representing passion, happiness, and intimacy with the Holy Spirit.


“Viva Tall Poppies”

When Aussies speak of “Tall Poppies” it is a colloquialism for anyone raising their head too high. The Tall Poppy Syndrome is a term referring to the expectation that poppies should grow together, and if one grows too tall, it is cut down to align with average achievement. It is a cultural phenomenon in which people hold back, criticise or sabotage those who are believed to have achieved prominence, especially academically or in cultural wealth. Cutting down the tall poppy is the opposite spirit of the honour.

Heading to paint prophetically in worship at the Australian Prayer Day meeting, the Lord asked me to paint into breaking the spirit of the tall poppy syndrome. He said, “Cut that spirit off at the knees the way it has cut down our leaders, and let your leaders lead!”

It is an insidious spirit that has thrived in Australia, especially in politics in the past 10 years where our leaders have been cut down prematurely, and also, especially in churches, where leaders have been thwarted. It’s time to disown that spirit as ‘the Australian way’.

If God is talking about an issue, it means He is ready and willing to deal with it. Pray for our leaders in every sphere of influence and say “rise up!” Be the best you can be. Celebrate excellence!

Three poppies in the painting depict divine completeness and perfection. God is able to end this destructive cycle, and ‘three’ carries a “now” meaning. Under the poppies is a wheat field. The harvest is waiting for the leaders to rise up and take their rightful place.

Artist: Wendy Manzo
Painted: 2nd March 2019, National Day of Prayer, Genesis Church

Additional information


30cm x 30cm, 50cm x 50cm, 90cm x 90cm