Day 7: Icon Writing with Jesus
“Sometimes the flame [of a lamp] can leap up and burn furiously.
At other times it burns gently and quietly.
Sometimes its light leaps up and emits a great radiance.
At other times its small flame gives out only a dim light.
This is how it is with the lamp [of grace in the soul].
It is always lit and giving off illumination, but when it burns with special radiance, it is as if the soul were drunk with love for God.
At other times, as God himself decides, the light is still there but is only a dim glow.”
—Markarios the Great
Last night I went to my teacher’s house with the intention of applying the gold leaf to my icon of the Christ. But, it was revealed, I wasn’t yet ready for apply the gold. The face of Jesus needed more care.
When my teacher gently pointed out a few of the things that I might want to work on before I continue with the gold, I was disappointed. I wanted to add the sparkle and glow to my icon and I wanted to do it NOW.
But isn’t that the way it is with Life. We have our plans and God has His.
As I worked to add a bit more color to His cheeks, to deepen the shadows and brighten the enliveners, I lost my disappointment.
The face of Jesus needed another hour of special devotion and care. The careful stroke of a brush, the touch of my hands to his face. Bringing into life the face that I love and being in communion with the One that loves me — they were miraculous moments.
My teacher tells us that every icon is holy and every icon that we paint, even our first icon, is a professional work that is holy and sacred and can lead us to a miraculous journey to God.
I believe her. And, as I brought forth the face of the Christ under my hands, I believed He knows me and He loves me and He is with me. He is with you, too.
As we wait within the darkness of the dim but ever faithful glow of Advent, let us join together to tend the flame within each other’s hearts. Let us love each other.
“Claiming your own blessedness always leads to a deep desire to bless others.” ~Henri Nouwen
~ by Kimberly Mason on December 2, 2010.