What do you see?
I saw a woman, broken and desperate. Behind her hands, tears are smeared across her face. She doesn’t know where to go but the ground. The noises she is making aren’t words. Her sobs come from the depths and tell of things that speech can’t encompass.
I’ve been that woman. I recognised myself in the painting.
It’s an icon the artist Tim Steward painted in response to music for a Lent concert series.
His words …
‘The icon… is part of a series of works looking at beauty in brokeness. I was interested in the physicality of the figure as she prayed. In my experience, it is often in our brokenness that we most seek after God, and it is here that He is able to meet with us and create in us something of beauty. Such beauty, as the theologian Karl Barth insists “embraces death as well as life, fear as well as joy, what we might call the ugly as well as what we might call the beautiful.’
The artist named the icon.
Not as I would have named it, ‘Desperate woman on the floor’.
He could see beyond.
He called it ‘Enveloped in Gold’.
Enveloped in Gold
We are. That is us. That is you. That is me.
And when we are on the ground with tear smeared faces seeking the face of God, we are enveloped in gold.
we are beauty