When I sat down to write my second book I knew I wanted to feature the Cross, but somehow picking the image that would speak for me was overwhelming.
I thought: Who am I to define the cross? Surely there are those who have much more theological training. Why would God want me to write about this precious centerpiece of our faith? And what image would bring a fresh perspective?
Pressing into the unknown, and shouting down my fears, I believe the Spirit guided me to this image simply named Crucifixion by Jodie Marie Anne Richardson Traugott
I hope you will check out the rest of her work here: jm-Art (jodie-traugott.pixels.com)
Ms. Traugott is an artist who works in a “unique fusion” of mediums such as oil, acrylic, pastels, and here she uses what she refers to as her “contemporary digital magic.”
This image began as a photograph of a crucifix taken at a “slightly odd angle” in a side chapel of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis in Santa Fe, New Mexico, became “progressively more interesting.”
Jodie describes her process:
I enjoy the process of crossing the boundaries from one discipline to another. […] This is a digitally altered/enhanced photo that has the look of a painting, drawing, etching, mosaic or stained glass. The “texture” is intentional and I feel it enhances the image and the illusion.
Without completely understanding why my subconscious mind finds it so compelling, I feel a type of fellowship with her as I gazed at her beautiful image of the Cross. Because of her artistry, I could begin to imagine the possibility of being simultaneously shocked and awe-inspired by allowing myself to be fully in the presence of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross.
As I continued to look closely at Ms. Traugott’s picture of the Cross, a list of words rose in my mind: Mystery—Colors—Shifting/Changing—Dimensions—Voices.
Mystery—Unknown or illusive meaning… meaning that is so profound that it is bottomless… meaning that is always feeding us with its presence without complete knowledge or understanding. As I view Jesus hanging on the Cross, I cannot imagine or understand the reason or need for his suffering. I cannot grasp or understand the pain he endured… I am humbled as I kneel before him.
Colors—Moods that turn, a complex pattern of thoughts and feelings in my mind. The variety of colors all need light to exist. Light, God’s light, spotlights and highlights the beauty of the colors. To see and to understand, we must hold God’s light within us… it is always present as our understanding turns.
Shifting/Changing—I see movement in this image; this leads me to think about new perspectives and changing ground. The odd angle helps me to see this image with new eyes and think about how we all change our view of the Cross throughout our lives.
Dimensions—Something about this image evokes the impression of time and space… the idea of infinity. I think about how Jesus’ sacrifice heals us; how it is now cleansing our hearts; and how it was also an act that was for all those people who came before Christ, and I think:
Is Jesus still suffering?
Voices—An event that is mysteriously colored by shifting dimensions producing multiple viewpoints and voices, all asking questions. What is truth? In the end, we can all hear an answer that will heal our individual wounds.
Because of this, we can gather at the Cross to listen and to see Jesus’ sacrifice through the lens of a variety of voices everyday—And finding pieces of our story in the Cross, making it personal, is really what God wants us to do.
When we communion there, when we find our place next to his breast, then we can be comforted in our suffering as we make it personal.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son who shows us your heart of love…
Thank you Jesus for your precious example and sacrifice of love…
Thank you Holy Spirit for your holy and loving presence in our lives each day…in Jesus we pray…