I’m heading down to the Sarah Harmer concert at Knox United tonight with a few of my sister-friends….there are several beautiful stories to share about my morning/afternoon painting in the Chapel! I want to save this spot and make certain that it is dated with today’s date…but will write more after the concert.
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday….I have captured some images in the photo album of the preparations that were surrounding me while I was at work today.
Alright….it’s Palm Sunday morning and before I head out for church to recount The Passion, I’m going to write the update about yesterday’s painting.
There were several people preparing the church for today’s reading of The Passion of Christ. As a result, I had the opportunity to take some quick photos of their activities and to share in some laughter, as well as conversation. I had several visitors in the Chapel and I was blessed by the observations of every one of these smart people. It meant so much to me that they would take the time to come in, sit down and chat.
As they departed, silence filled the space again. I felt alone and considered leaving early because I felt somehow ‘abandoned’. Instead, I decided to keep working….there is so much to be done…and after some time, I was once again left with that sacred sense…a beautiful peace that had become familiar to me over these past many days.
After some time working on background….beginning the plate of flatbread….and coating the stalks of wheat I had adhered to the wall the day before…all of a sudden I heard the echoes of…..
little girl giggles….little girl voices and quick-pixie-running-steps at the entrance of the church. I thought I was hearing things. For a short while I continued to paint, but then curiosity got the best of me and I stepped out of the Chapel and made my way to the front entrance.
There they were! Two beautiful little girls; their mother, pouring over a stack of scripts for the Palm Sunday readers while they danced around her. ‘Mom’ is a woman I have a working relationship with in the church….a friendly and always-positive woman. After a brief conversation, I asked if they had seen the Chapel…and stepped back into the church, the two little girls two-stepping alongside me! We left Mom at her work…and shared quiet conversation as we made our way to the Chapel…making note of the red altar cloth, the purple over the Stations…anything new and different we noticed along the way.
"That’s pretty!" they both squeaked out at the sight of the wall.
We sat down on a bench, just under the stained glass window so we could talk together about the painting and immediately I asked if they would write their names on the painting in GOLD. They were VERY excited about this…but "First", I said, "we have to sort out a reasonable spot for your names." I asked them what their middle names were…..Grace….and Maria….they said. Hmmm. I told them about the part of the wall that I had painted, all the while praying the rosary.
I showed them where I had been thinking about my friend Mary Lee…and where I wrote the scripture about the women at the well. I asked them if they knew the words to the Hail Mary and we began…."Hail Mary, full of grace…"
"Wow!" I said…."Your middle name is Grace! And your middle name is Maria! You two, let’s get the ladder…and you can print your first and middle names right here…juat under the name of Mary." I told them that my patron Saint’s name is Therese…the little flower…and that she promised roses from heaven….and that I intend on putting rose petals over their names…red rose petals. I had been waiting for the perfect spot and that now I had found it.
As the girls climbed three steps to the ladder and printed their names in gold, I told them that their names would likely be covered over…but I wanted them to remember the place where they were printing them…because that spot would always be special.
Mom came to join us. She marveled at the art work and the new sense of the space. We spoke briefly about it and then I showed her her little girls’ names. We sat down, again at a distance, and I poured out my ideas and my connections…and the reasons why we ‘collided’ that afternoon.
I have asked Mom to write down the story that she then told me…so I will include that story when she has chosen her words…
In brief and from my recollection, because of special circumstances, Grace was baptized on Palm Sunday. Today is the anniversary of her baptism. She was baptized on this day because her Grandpa, in failing health, was not expected to see that particular Easter (when baptisms would normally be performed). Her Grandpa loved roses and had planted a special rose bush…that through unusual circumstances grew and thrived through that winter. It would only be right that his special grand daughters should have their names covered over with red rose petals; don’t you think? Coincidence?