Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Be Still, my Soul

Henryk Hector Siemiradzki: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary

"Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

"Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

"Be still, my soul: The hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last."

~ Text: Katharina von Schlegel, b. 1697; trans. by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897; music by Jean Sibelius. From the Presbyterian Hymnal.

I really love the hymn! It is ancient, it is calming, it rings true. Sometimes I get going a little faster than I can keep up with myself, and I need to chill--this picture and this hymn really do it for me. Nothing like the reminding oneself of the "big picture" to realign one's chi and get back into harmony with the universe again.

A black and white image of this painting was in a book called "The Children's Bible" that my grandmother gave me. I really liked it. I always wanted a "Jesus Patio" -- it seemed to have the right "Feng Shui" as it is called today. Dave Stewart and Marguerite had outdoor spaces that felt like this one, where thoughtful conversations could take place, insights and inspirations could come to us budding artists. May you find such a place yourself, to contemplate your place in the universe and make peace with your God. Your artwork will improve, as will your life.

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