Sunday, May 22, 2011

special friends and special gifts

Many special friends helped us celebrate my graduation from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Phil and Julie (top), Nicole (middle), Kimi (bottom), and many others showered me with gifts ... as if graduating wasn't gift enough on its own!  All the gifts were wonderful, but one deserves special mention.  About 2 weeks ago a package arrived on our doorstep.  It was rectangular in shape, not very heavy, and not very thick.  I tore into it right away, wondering if it could possibly be ... and it was!
'Simeon's Moment' by Ron diCianni
Photo: C Imes
Simeon's Moment, by Ron diCianni, has been my all-time favorite painting since high school.  For 17 years (yes, it's been that long!) I have dreamed of one day having it on my wall.  It depicts the event recorded in Luke 2:22-38 when 8-day-old Jesus is dedicated in the temple.  Simeon, a devout Jew, had a divine appointment with baby Jesus that day.  The Spirit compelled him to go to the temple, and when he laid eyes on Jesus he knew that centuries of expectation were coming to fulfillment in this little child.  Jesus was, in fact, the long-awaited Messiah, sent to be a light to all nations.  The story of Simeon and Anna has been a favorite of mine for most of my life.  I love their unwavering faith in God's promise to deliver His people.  DiCianni captures so well the look of rapturous joy that must have been on Simeon's face. Even in greatest darkness, with no tangible evidence of answered prayers, Simeon and Anna cling to what they know is true of their God.  He is faithful.

This print of Simeon's Moment was a gift from my parents, who were unable to attend my graduation.  They more than made up for their absence with this perfect present, followed by a beautiful letter of blessing.  I feel so loved!

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