This post is part of a series of reflections prompted by Christine Sine’s book, Return to Our Senses: Re-imagining How We Pray. Today’s post is a response to Christine’s discussion of icons in chapter six.
In mid-February, my friend Susan gave me my first ever icon. It’s of Mary, the Theotokos, or God-bearer. The child Jesus leans against her cheek, one arm around her neck, the other resting on her chest, just above her left breast. His eyes look up at her in love; her eyes look out of the icon, at the viewer, at me.
I hung the icon on the east wall of my bedroom, above my writing desk, next to the window. Every afternoon, when I lie down on my bed with my two-year-old twins, to put them (and myself) down for a nap, I can see Mary looking at me with pity and compassion and love.
I need that kind of look these days. I’ve been worn out, worn down, just worn, like an old sheet that’s been washed way too many times. When I get this tired, the nasty voices in my head, which I can usually fight or keep at bay with prayer and Scripture recitation, get really loud and insistent, and in all their clamoring, I start to listen to them.
They say, Jesus never yelled at his disciples, and they bring to mind the way, earlier today, I …