Home » a penny for my thoughts » a painting, Nicodemus, and other blessed things

a painting, Nicodemus, and other blessed things


The above (or below)painting was done by Grandma Moses in 1951. She named it, TAKING IN LAUNDRY. I came across it today while dusting off piles of books I planted on the floor in the spare bedroom a few months ago with the promise to have them up on bookshelves by March.

Grandma Moses was given a gift on her 70th. birthday: paints and brushes and everything else she would need to begin painting. She chuckled at first thinking it was silly for an old woman to begin a career as an artist, yet, she did just that. Her spirit was willing. And she lived to be 104!  

In this particular painting Grandma Moses captured and stilled a moment in time. Monday was the official wash day. I can feel the brisk wind in her brushstrokes and I can see the wind in the clothes hanging from the line…I can almost hear the wind blowing through the leaves on the trees. A stormy sky brews over the horizon. Women doing laundry. I wonder, “Grandma, is there more going on here than meets the eye?” 

In the Gospel of John, chapter three verse eight (I read this last night) Jesus tells Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus could not grasp Jesus’ words telling him that “No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.”  “How can a person once grown old be born again?” Nicodemus was perplexed.

Today is Monday, March 11. It is the day before the Conclave of Cardinals.  I am perplexed. The sky is ominous in the painting. The women rush to take down their laundry before the storm breaks. Jesus’ words to Nicodemus are strange.  Nicodemus is not sure how he is suppose to climb back into his mother’s womb. “The wind blows where it wills”…where does it come from, where does it go? Are we to have all the answers to everything in life?

The Conclave will begin shrouded in secrecy and question. The SPIRIT gives no explanations. “No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.” White smoke will eventually pour out from the smoke stack on the Sistine Chapel rooftop. A soft tranquillity will rise with the smoke. We have BEEN BORN FROM ABOVE! A serene peace will fill our hearts and souls. The mysterious, still being mysterious, suddenly becomes the answer.

“HABEMUS PAPEM”. That will be music to our ears!

WE HAVE A POPE. We have a Shepherd! We have a Church that was born from above! We have a Church that sees through eyes of faith, hope and love! We have a Church so full of the SPIRIT which will allows us to know one thing for sure: “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.”

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