Every now and then, I will find a photo I have taken and let it speak to me. I will have a conversation with it, and then as a way to reflect and exercise my writing, I will write what the photo tells me. If you are looking for a way to find God in your day or want to stretch your creativity, try this exercise! Feel free to use this picture or one that you have on your phone, or take a trip to a local museum and sit in front of your favorite piece of art!

Here is my response to this photo of Mary and Jesus. I gave myself a 30 minute time limit:

You are much kinder than I give you credit for. Hope is in her eyes, in her hands. The Blessed One. That God would look at me and you and say, “Would you like to carry the fullness of Life?” We have teachers come and go throughout our time, those who are devout and dedicated to one purpose: to realize you, to understand you, to behold you, hoping to quench a nagging restlessness in the soul. Grown men who search the scriptures like mining in the hills for gold because the accuser has a word in our ears that time is running out. And yet, water flows from a rock in our midst. 

You were a child. You knew the care of good parents. And yet, you loved spending time in the temple of God because you couldn’t get enough of the One who was all around and within. The scholars were astounded at your wisdom, the way you spoke of Him as if you were really his son. What relief would they have known by laying down their books and believing that’s who you really were? You are the first temple, pointing the way within, that we are God’s temple.

Why do we look elsewhere for the Drink of Life? You placed yourself smack dab in the center of our world. There was nothing you avoided and cringed about our humanness. You love to call us home. You love our cultures and are intimately familiar with our ways. You love our fullness.

Sweet Savior, grow up within me. Ignite me with the hope that burns in your eyes. Let me cradle you in the arms of my days, and the light of your smile be my countenance. How blessed is the human being who welcomes God into his and her womb, the one who accepts the invitation to be a temple full of his radiant delight.

Your eyes have seen all things; you understand how all things fit together: stars racing around in the heavens, currents of the wind and oceans, paths of human civilization etched in the earth. You are pleased to carry the government on your shoulders, so that we can find enjoyment in trusting you. We’ve been set free from the seriousness of knowing because there is no expiration date on your presence.

I behold you now, everywhere, always and all at once. All I need is your eyes: kindness that never runs out. A kindness that is faithful to heal my wounds and restore all that was taken. Kindness that produces endless fruit. Yes, Blessed One, I would like to carry this Fullness.