How I am spending my days this week.
The icon workshop is going quite well. We have 26 students, and maybe eight of them have never written an icon before. The excitement is palpable in the room, as the students form a relationship with the subjects of the icons. The subjects this year are Tender Kissing (an example is shown here ~ this is not the one I am working on, just an example), Jonah and the Whale, St. Michael the Archangel, and St. Nicholas. I am going to bring my camera this weekend and take photos of all of them and then post them Sunday.
At this stage of the course, I begin to get a little discouraged. In my mind's eye, I have an idea of what I want my icon to look like. As I work, I can see it just isn't going to measure up to my expectations. Then, I have to get over myself and realize this isn't about MY expectations, and I beg for the humility to see my abilities for what they really are, and to give my best to my efforts, then trust that God is satisfied. Then I must be satisfied. For me, this is the most powerful spiritual lesson I have received from writing icons ~ I am not perfect, and God loves me anyway. He is pleased with my efforts even when they don't measure up to my expectations, and He is my loving Father at all times, not just when I am "perfect".
Lord have mercy.
(For those interested, Here is a link to St. John of Damascus and his writings against the iconoclasts. My dear husband lead a discussion on this piece last night at our class.)