Thursday, September 5, 2013

Finishing Touches

Putting the finishing touches on an icon is usually the most difficult stage, spiritually, of the entire process. At least it is for me. Which is not what one would expect, as this is the point at which the icon actually begins to come together. This should be an occasion of satisfaction and accomplishment. But not for me.
Just the opposite. It's at this juncture that I find myself dwelling on the weight of my sins and begin to feel paralyzed by my undeniable inadequacies and limitations (which seem insurmountable.) It's just a squalid mix of fear and pride. Fortunately, as soon as I feel this coming on, I know enough now to put down the brush and pick up the prayerbook.
Tonight, when I felt myself being pulled down into that confusing place I was grateful to discover that the theme of the psalms and reading for Evening Prayer were all about humility. Although the important thing is simply to pray -- Lord have mercy is just fine -- the psalms tonight reminded me to trust in God's faithful love and leave it at that.
So I went back to finishing the icon. I completed the faces of Mary and Jesus and painted-in the inscription that translates "Our Lady Queen of Peace". (Thank you to Deacon Greg Kandra who supplied me with the Arabic text!)
Tomorrow I hope to complete the other inscriptions and the borders. I hope to be able to have the icon available at the Cathedral in Juneau for the Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for Syria, pray for us!

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