Every once in a while, I get stopped by an image. Most often, I am reading or looking for something else when such an image seems quite simply to call my name. It insists I pay attention. It says, “look here,” or “this is important.” or “I’m what you were looking for.”
At least that’s what the image above said to me--when I saw it. Yet I didn’t stop. Because of course I was too busy. It’s December for heaven’s sake. There are concerts and teas and parties and gifts to be bought and wrapped. There’s traditional food to be made and cookies. Don’t forget the cookies.Yet this particular image was persistent, so as is my habit I simply hit COPY and SAVE and it ended up in my bottomless folder of images that try to speak to me. The ones I save for someday. And some of them have been there a long time!
But as I read the first Chapter of John she called to me again, and I went to that folder with all those images and retrieved her. I put John chapter 1 down and when I found her John’s Good News leapt from the page: “What has come into being in Christ, was life, and the life was the Light of all people.” The Light of All People.You know sometimes, or maybe most of the time, we can get tongue-tied when we read the poetry of John’s Gospel… but this image made it more real for me than I ever knew it to be. Christ, the light of all the people. Christ in me, my hope of glory. Christ above me, beneath me, shining through me and you, and you… Christ within me, illumining my heart and mind and yours. Blessings and grace penetrating all people.
A second barrage of thoughts came as I sat a little longer looking at the photograph. It was only then that it occurred to me that while illuminating, it would also be consistent that the sun would necessarily be melting those on which it cast its rays. And that similarly, when we allow the light of Christ into us… we do not control what may happen next. Melt me. Mold me. Fill me. Use me. Have Thine own way, Lord—
Many of us were not taught or encouraged towards the use of pictures, representations or icons in prayer. But I often find the quiet sitting with an image, is much like the process of Divine Reading (Lectio Divina) except it is Visio Divina or Divine Seeing. Meditating on this image revealed much about God and God’s relationship to us all in ways that words never could.
This year we have a particularly long season of Advent—a season of waiting. Let me encourage you to allow yourself to be stopped by something you see. And then to tarry there is prayer. Invite the Spirit to illumine your understanding. Take a moment to step away from all the busyness to just look and listen for a while. I’ll be praying for whatever God might be ready to birth in you this year.
A very Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Kathleen Bronagh Weller --
THECELTICMONKP.S. I think the above photo has all the invitations of Advent waiting. It is saying:
“look here,” “this is important,” and “I AM what you are looking for.”To God be the glory.