This is an icon I wrote recently of St Veronica. (We call it writing Icons as opposed to painting because the art of creating an icon is an act of prayer unfolding, we write the prayer). I am a member of the 'Icon Writers of St Luke' who meet weekly here in Christchurch to teach and write icons together.
Anyway what struck me about Veronica -who was said to have knelt before Christ on his way to the cross and wiped his face, was that she represented that moment of extraordinary compassion in the midst of an indescribable madness. That place where evil and grace scuff up against one another. There is something for me in this about being in that place of witness I guess. That place where that single moment may not tip the balance but stays glowing long after the event.
I wonder if it is where sign posts are placed so that eventually we can find our way home? I remember years ago being on the streets working with what we now call homeless young people but back then just referred to as street kids. One night warming my hands over the lights of the Cathedral (as we did many nights) my buddy at the time talking about those sign posts in the form of an event or person that lead us in a new direction. I know that one of the things that works in turning around lives are those people who for a time loved, accepted and believed in another, who placed there a possibility of a new way.
20 years ago there were three of us in a group voted least likely to ever become Christians and here we are some 20 plus years later to discover each other again, all within the Anglican Church. All responding to a call placed in our hearts , looking for the signpost back. And I don't think it is case of simply coming back, or too, faith, I think maybe we return again and again and again to faith, dance and skirt around and fall over into something far beyond us all.
Being a tad retroflective on this day I am listening to an old Leonard Cohen song as sung by Jennifer Warnes on Famous Blue Raincoat that goes.
Maybe I'm still hurting
I can't turn the other cheek
I know that I still love you
it's just that I can't speak
I looked for you in everyone
and they called me on that too
I lived alone but I was only coming back to you.
Even in your arms I know I'll never get it right
even when you bend to give me comfort in the night
but Ive got to have your word on this or none of it is true
And I left my pride on the other side of coming back to you.
Have a nice day maybe if anyone ever reads this or miracle of miracle comments I will be encouraged minimise waffling and engage in dialogue!
Meg in the windy day