In April, Christine held another online icon class that focused on color theory and symbolism while the participants painted [ correct term is wrote] St George and the Dragon. She also completed an icon commission on St John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila for a church in Connecticut, see detail of St Teresa.
She has developed an interest in the art of Egypt and is looking into exploring the Old Testament personalities to utilize that style in her iconography. What is wonderful about Christine’s work is, she is always looking for ways to bring the contemporary Western Church into a deeper usage of icons. Her online classes are known for leading the participants into a meaningful prayer time with the Lord while they are painting. This is the wealth of learning iconography in that it draws one intimately into a connection with the Lord.
Michael had trips, the first traveling for photography in over 15 months, to Nappa, CA and Western CT. Photographing gardens in those places, touched the high points of roses in California and tulips in Connecticut.
At the elderly community where Michael is a Chaplain, people are slowly starting to be more engaged in activities. It is almost as though people need to learn how to be comfortable socializing again, even wearing a mask. Like learning how to ride a bike again. The isolation has left its’ toll.
Michael has started a prayer table, for people to come to talk in depth about what has happened for them through the pandemic and receive prayer. It is particularly difficult when residents are faced with having to move to assisted living from independent living. Sometimes it separates spouses who have different physical abilities, who possibly lived together 60 or 70 years. On the whole though there is a feeling of optimism, especially that people will be able to visit with family again and a sense of purpose to life is filtering back in. Some who recently were moved to assisted living have been able to attend the Sunday service again, and it means so much to them to take up their places with old friends.
Life is such a gift, even when we lose some functionality, God loves us more than we can understand. We tend to look at our physical situation, where as God is looking at the nature of our hearts. He wants us to keep our eyes on Him, not on ourselves. When we are able to focus on Him; He deals with our inabilities, our fears, our purpose for living. He will enable us to know how loved we are by Him.
Michael was recently given a dandelion by our four year old granddaughter as he was leaving from a family visit. It was not until he was some miles away, down the road, that he recalled being given some buttercups as he was setting out on a journey by his son, many years before.
How can a child express love, but by offering up a gift, and what could be more perfect than a dandelion or a buttercup? In true love there will be pain. Just as the isolation of this pandemic year caused painful loss, love will rise above it. Because God is love and his love surpasses our understanding.
Ephesians 3: 17-19
“…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Please, let us know how we can pray for you or your loved ones.
Michael and Christine.