Queen's counsel XXV

September 2003

Have you seen the hand of God at work in your life? Did it make you feel lighter than air? Some of you will have seen that marvellous stained glass window in the West wall of Chester Cathedral Refectory where God's hand is traced out over the first five days of creation. It is entirely captivating in itself but the story behind it is even more amazing. As some of you will have heard, I wove this magical piece of art into an evening sermon that was assessed in June by my local tutor and, as she said, it's good to be able to make these connections.

The window was commissioned as the Millenium window and was created by Ros Grimshaw to portray the six days of creation as described in the first chapter of Genesis. The window is almost entirely achieved through cutting and assembling carefully selected coloured glass there is no painting on top of the glass although there is a little engraving. The overall effect is very warm and rich with the colours constantly changing as the light conditions vary. It mixes traditional images with challenges that derive from our times.

There are two particular features that I would draw your attention to. The first is the recognisable image of the artist's brain scan that clearly shows, for the medically trained at least, the typical confirmation of Parkinson's disease from which the artist has suffered for over 20 years. The second is the image of the artist's hand in day 6 reaching out towards the hand of God that is traced out over the previous 5 days. They speak to me of humankind's responsibility over the natural world, the inspiration that can come from God's hand and the vital empowering of the artist as she struggled to work on despite her condition. May we all find strength in our own lives from that universal source to satisfy our own particular needs.

I am reminded that Teresa of Avila once said:

Lord Christ,
You have no body on earth but ours,
No hands but ours, no feet but ours.
Ours are the eyes through which your compassion
must look out on the world.

Ours are the feet by which you may still
Go about doing good.
Ours are the hands with which You bless people now.
Bless our minds and bodies,
That we may be a blessing to others.
AMEN.



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This page was last updated on 2003-07-21


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