This image certainly disquiets me. Nearly disturbs. But I keep sliding my eyes back to look ... and then slowly I see it. This image is alive with the suffering of the world.
Also, the colors, tilt of the head, and glow, they remind me of a line from Muriel Barbery's book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I now know what you have to experience before you die: let me tell you. What you have to experience before you die is a driving rain transformed into light.
How do I react to the circumstances of the world? Do I shield myself from the experience of others? Do I close down or open outward? Do I let myself be soaked as I work toward transformation, toward greater Becoming?
Becoming a bit more compassionate, a bit more free, a bit more spacious of heart, creating room for our neighbor, room for pain, room for action, room for witness and solidarity, room for love, room for who we are each called to be.
To get there, though, sometimes costs dearly … the rending ache of decisions made, the shaking courage of breaking free and facing the unknown, or perhaps, finally facing the truth … and choosing to go forward, arms at the side, straight on and exposed, no cloak of fear or doubt … because we believe that the driving rain of whatever it is that holds us bound will give way.
That is the hope that draws my eyes back to an unsettling image.
May what holds me bound give way.
Reflection by Kimberly King, RSCJ
This image is found in the Sacred Heart chapel of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta, Austrailia