Farewell Riehen

To finish our time together Sr Delia and I prayed with and for one another in a beautiful little chapel in the convent. We prayed with an icon she had painted as well, which I thought was extraordinary, even though she was at pains to explain that it was just a copy.

Icons depict certain aspects of the character of God (or of a saint from church history) that the artist wants to meditate on. So they are not the object of anyone’s worship, but more like a window helping people to focus on some aspect of God, who is always bigger than any picture, of course.

The left hand side of Jesus’ face (ie the right as we look at it) here represents the suffering Christ on the cross, and the right hand side (on our left) the risen Christ. But what I noticed most was the luminous word of God. Perhaps because I’ve spent a while in this country with all the Reformation talk. The Reformation, at its best, was all about giving ordinary people access to the word of God (the Bible) in their own language, so they could read it for themselves and not have to rely on whatever the priests told them it said. Well, that’s my very “power to the people” simple summary, anyway.

One evening we’d watched In Pursuit of Silence (a documentary film I mentioned in an earlier blog post) together. In response, Sr Delia gave me this, which I am looking forward to watching:

It seemed a very fitting way to finish our time together to pray and commit each other to God, and also to pray for the communities we each belong to. It’s quite an extraordinary thing to pray for someone and to be prayed for by them. I thank God for that gift.

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