From the Shallows to the Deep

Apr 17, 2021 | Articles, Passing Musings

By Amber Kinloch

My mom and I were talking about icons vs. paintings and the focus on symbolism vs. realism.  Then she remarked on manger scenes and how they’ll portray Jesus only partially wrapped up in swaddling clothes.

Now if you don’t know, that’s not accurate either.  Newborn babies like to be swaddled up tightly.  It reminds them of the snug environment of their mother’s womb.  Hence, my mom remarked that if it were her, she’d portray Jesus wrapped up tightly with only His Face showing.

That’s when something hit me.

In the stable at Bethlehem, Baby Jesus is all swaddled up.  We see only a bit of Him.

On the Cross, He hangs there naked, utterly exposed.

In Bethlehem we see, as it were, only the beginning of God’s love for us.

On the Cross, we’re overwhelmed by the full magnitude of His love.  We see the whole of Him.

Similarly, in our relationship with God, we start out seeing only a little piece of Him.  As we grow in our relationship with Him, we see more and more of Who He is.

We hear the Lord’s call: “Put out into deep water” (Luke 5:4), and we do.

But we begin in the shallows.

That’s all right, for even there we can meet Him and behold His Sacred Face.

The Nativity
The Nativity by Giotto, 1310s AD, in the Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi
Amber Kinloch

Amber Kinloch

Amber  writes from the bunker of her living room.  There she hunkers down with her laptop and a blanket while keeping an eye and ear tuned in to the activity of family life.  Music set on loop keeps her energy flowing as she muses on the deeper happenings of ordinary life and what food to restock the fridge with.


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