Sunday, 21 April 2013

Behold, I Stand at the Door 2

"Behold, I stand at the door, knocking", drawing by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Some of you may recall the icon I did a couple of years ago of Jesus standing at the door and knocking (see Rev. 3:20).  It was done in the style of a Greek icon.  If you want to take a look at it, I posted it on January 25, 2009.  Recently, however, I was reflecting on this passage from the Book of Revelation again and felt an urging to try to draw another version of this powerful scene ... but this time I wanted to try drawing it in a more traditional western art style.

(I finished this work some days ago and noted that while what I have done is definitely not an icon in the regular sense of the word, I always now seem to prefer to use certain techniques which I have acquired while learning to draw icons.)


The best known of the western images of this scene is the painting entitled "The Light of the World, (see painting below) an allegorical painting by William Holman Hunt (1853–54) representing the figure of Jesus preparing to knock on an overgrown and long-unopened door, illustrating Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me". 


According to Hunt: "I painted the picture with what I thought, unworthy though I was, to be by Divine command, and not simply as a good Subject." The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside, representing "the obstinately shut mind". 

Hunt felt he had to explain the symbolism. The original, painted at night in a makeshift hut at Worcester Park Farm in Surrey, is now in a side room off the large chapel at Keble College, Oxford. Toward the end of his life, Hunt painted a life-size version, which was hung in St Paul's Cathedral, London, after a world tour where the picture drew large crowds."  [Italicized text taken from Wikipedia.]


William Holman Hunt's painting "The Light of the World"

Like many people, I love the symbolic details in this painting.  If you take the time to enlarge the painting and go over it carefully, you will discover so many symbolic items -- any of which could be the subject of a meditation as you reflect on the passage from Scripture which prompted Hunt (and me) to try to present in artistic form what the imagination sees so clearly.  So, I would recommend that you take a closer look at Hunt's painting and as you discover things hitherto unseen, stop and ask yourself why the artist chose to include each item in his painting. 


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BRADEN'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES

These photos were not all taken on the same day, but I decided to put them together in order to make another little story.  While it doesn't have the excitement of last posting's account of Braden's first date, there are some really delightful photos here.  

For example, the look on Braden's face as his father holds him close to a parrot's cage on his first visit to a pet store, is a look so full of total absorption while taking in every single aspect of this totally new creature.  The same kind of look comes over his face as he stops swinging in order to observe the older kids playing on the big swings.  Again, he is so obviously taking in every detail of something totally new to his experience thus far in his life.  How precious these looks are for they indicate the wonder a child expresses over and over again as he or she explores their world where everything is new and (hopefully) wonderful. 

And now, here are Braden's excellent adventures: 


The day began with waffles and fruit.  Yum!



Braden's first visit to a pet store is so exciting.  He wants to look at everything!



Braden enjoys the small swings in the park as he experiences that 
wonderful feeling we all get when we go back and forth on a swing.





But, wait, what is this?  He has to stop and watch the big kids on the big 
swings as he wonders if he will ever be big like that!



Home again!  Surrounded by everything familiar, his loving parents and all his toys, 
the adventures continue!




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SUKI AND SALLIE


A cat's favourite activity
(after sleeping and eating):
watching the world go by!
I am getting a bit worried about Suki.  Lately when she awakens from a deep sleep, she begins meowing and meows constantly in a way that lets me know she is looking for me. I call her name and once she is able to locate me, she slowly makes her way to wherever I am, meowing all the while.

This in and of itself is pretty routine as she has been behaving this way ever since she came to live with me.  What is different now is that once she has found me, she demands to get into my lap!  It doesn't seem to matter to her where I am sitting or what I am doing, she practically demands to get into my lap -- no matter how awkwardly she has to perch herself on me.  

Once in my lap, she then proceeds to settle in for another long nap and she seems to get very distressed when I put her back down on the floor.  Not deterred, she keeps trying to get back in my lap.  Sometimes I give in and then try to continue whatever I am doing.  Of course, unless I am sitting in the recliner watching TV, it usually proves to be impossible to hold her and so often I end up giving in and moving to the recliner so that she can go back to sleep.  

Like a baby, once she is asleep, then I can carefully pick her up and place her in one of her beds and she will usually just continue to sleep.  At this point, I can then return to such activities as drawing on the computer or whatever.  The next time she awakens, however, we will go through the same process.  

Do any of you have any ideas as to why she has suddenly become such a baby again?  For a while, I thought it might be because she sensed that I was preparing to take a trip, but now that all trip related activities and talk have ceased for the time being, she continues to behave the same way!  A puzzling situation indeed.

Otherwise, things continue as usual.  

As often happens these days, I had another sleepless night last night due to the restless legs problem.  I think I finally got to sleep about 3:30 or 4 a.m.  Last night was the first time I had gotten desperate enough to try my new medication ... the only side effect was some dizziness.  Sadly, it really didn't help me at all.  So not only is it not a problem for me to ingest, it also appears to be pretty useless at the strength prescribed.  Oh, well, back to the drawing board as they say...

My other health issues remain pretty much the same and since you are all familiar with the problems, there is no need to repeat them.  

I continue to hope that the day will come when my chronic pain level is low enough so that I feel like tackling the gym once again.  I really miss my exercises and fully intend to try to return to the gym if it is at all possible.  Not only does the exercise make me feel  better, but it also seems to help me just a bit in controlling some of the pain issues.  Perhaps if the spring ever arrives, I will have just a bit less joint and spine pain and then I could head for the gym once again.

I must admit that I have spent more time than is necessary watching U.S. news channels this past week.  My heart goes out to all those people who have lost so much in both Boston and West, Texas.  I think particularly of those in Boston who lost both a family member as well as a leg like the mother of the young boy who was killed.  So tragic and senseless.  

This Sunday as the Church thinks about Christ as our "Good Shepherd", let us beg the Good Shepherd to protect all our loved ones and to please find a way to change the hearts and minds of all those people throughout the world who feel that is is their right to kill and maim all those who do not agree with them.

Although I realize that in today's world fewer and fewer people believe that sincere prayer can actually accomplish anything, I know that it can.  I have seen miracle after miracle occur over the years in response to continued prayer.  So, please join with me in asking God daily that peace may reign in the hearts of all people. 

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