A recent Lenten meditation “inspired” my most recent painting. (Art & Theology: Lent, Day 20.) Then, a phrase, BASE INGRATITUDES, from a favorite old book became its name.
The figure in Caitlin Connolly’s painting is carrying something — and in these past four weeks I have felt like I am carrying something — a bundle of stuff I don’t understand and can hardly bear.
I try giving it over in prayer but it comes smack back.
It’s the news from Ukraine; the news from Baltimore; from all around; from my own memories.
After nine sunflower paintings I had to try something else —
In the past four weeks of sensory overload, I see myself carrying “ a beautiful, tangled mass, a mystery, which is strangely both heavy and light.” I can’t untangle it or let it go. It’s changing how I pray:
The Phrase that Became Its Name
Well-trained Christians make it a habit each night to look over the past day and see where they have failed our Lord, or as the sweet old expression has it, “we examine the appearance of our soul in the mirror of our sins.” I wonder if some of our most grievous offenses are not overt sins, but just plain unvarnished, base ingratitudes. Lots of us don’t know a blessing when we see one. ( Richardson Wright, A Book of Days for Christians, page 79)
The last four weeks, on top of the past two years remind me — convict me — the tax collector got it right. (Luke 18:13)
. . . but I do desire to understand a little of your truth
. . . . I believe that unless I do believe I shall not understand.
(Benedicta Ward, (Art & Theology: Lent, Day 20.)
P.S. You might like these posts on Doubting Your Doubts