The images of the Lord, Our Lady, and some of the Saints in my office serve as reminders of my mission as a Daughter of Saint Paul.
This artwork is precious to me, some of the pieces are even blessed. But I also keep other special art that grounds me in another way. One piece features a blue and pink figure drawn roughly with crayon. The person has a red bow, blue hair, and red lips. Underneath the work of art is scrawled “Snow White.” Another piece of paper has geometric shapes in the shape of a person. The last piece is of swirls of color. It looks like it was finished quickly but with love.
We smile from the inside out when we receive art from a small child. The rough lines and colors; the misspelled words and crumpled paper go unnoticed because we see beneath the exterior to the intention. We see the heart of the artist, and this makes the gift precious.
Often the gifts God gives to us or the circumstances He permits leave us wondering how He defines beauty. He allows us to barely scrape by in paying our bills. He permits someone we love to make a bad choice. He seems slow to answer an urgent prayer. Through it all we are invited to look more deeply. We are called to look at His heart.
Imagine being Abraham in today’s First Reading. After Abraham follows God’s command and prepares to sacrifice his only son, an angel stops him. God then promises to make Abraham’s descendants countless like the stars and sand on the seashore because he was faithful. (See Genesis 22:17.)
In the Gospel, Jesus forgives the sins of a paralytic. After the people grumble, Jesus proves His authority to forgive sins by telling the paralytic to get up, take his mat, and go home. (See Matthew 9:6.)
Jesus shows us how God proves His love for us in myriad ways throughout each day. We can trace His tender creativity throughout Scripture and in the Person of Jesus Christ. He is faithful love. He is good. How can we see Him? When we take up our crosses daily and follow Christ, we will learn to see the beauty of redemptive love.
This artwork depicting the healing of the paralytic by a community in Cameroon is striking. Have you seen any of the Jesus Mafa series?
Sister Maria Kim Bui is a Daughter of Saint Paul, women religious dedicated to evangelization in and through the media. She is originally from Tempe, AZ, spent most of her fourteen years in religious life in the northeast, some time in Texas, and now was recently asked to serve as the director of marketing and sales at the Sisters' publishing house in Boston. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up and the author of our Blessed Conversations Mystery: Belong found here. Find out more about her here.