Hear my voice, Lord, when I call;
have mercy on me and answer me.
“Come,” says my heart, “seek His face,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek…”
By the grace of God, I find myself writing in a different way.
This way draws from something deep inside of me, cracking open a part of me that I didn’t know was there. Or perhaps I knew it was there but was afraid.
Yes, I think that is it… I was afraid.
Who am I to draw the Mother of God? Who am I to fashion an image of Christ Himself?
I am no one in particular, just one among many. My soul is stained with sin. My talents are modest at best.
I am grateful that I was forewarned. To write of God in image is quite different than pursuing art as a craft. Or at least it is for me.
Perhaps true artists see God in every image they bring into being. If so, they have greater souls than me.
I must be emptied out. I must fast and pray and give everything over to God.
To create a sacred image is to enter the sacred. I can only gaze upon holiness if I have allowed the Holy One to dwell in me – for I am not holy but He can be holy in me.
I know that I am not worthy. Please pray for me.
Today, in the Western Church, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. As the feast approached, it occurred to me that “Christ Pantocrator” was the icon expressing His Kingship most fully.
My King. The Almighty. The All-Powerful. The Sustainer of all that is.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
– Colossian 1: 16-17
And yet fully human. Loving all of creation. Loving unto death and bringing back to life. My King.
“Come, ” says my heart. “Seek His face…”
And so I have sought – and continue to seek – and must proclaim what I see.
All glory and praise to Him Who sustains the heavens and the earth and brings my dead soul back to life.
(Note: My Orthodox readers are likely to recognize this painting as a copy of a very famous icon, the oldest known surviving icon of Christ Pantocrator. For those less familiar, much is available online. Suffice it to say that the original icon clearly made the two sides of the Image differently, portraying the One who is both God and man, both Judge and Redeemer.)