Monday, November 16, 2015

A Vision Shared.

When we were growing up, my brother (Bill McClure) and I often tried to kill each other. With less than two years difference in our ages, we were sibling rivals par excellence. We didn’t become friends until I went away to college but our friendship has continued to deepen over the decades as we follow our respective spiritual paths. These paths are parallel, not identical, and it’s illuminating to see them reflected in our lives and work. Over the years, I have come to acknowledge the divine feminine and the holiness of all creation. So has Bill.

When his minister, Rev. J. Todd Smiedendorf (called Todd) asked him to create a large painting with images of the divine feminine/Black Madonna and the divinity of nature/Green Man, Bill began reading and sketching and carving and, over the past year, created the painting that was presented to the Washington Park United Church of Christ on Sunday, Nov. 8.

Early in the service, a good friend, Louise West, gathered the kids around the painting to learn what each of them saw – there are lots of creatures and birds and flowers. One little boy thought the Green Man was scary.

Then the scary part – for Bill – when he and Todd talked about the painting and the process of its creation.

Next, the extraordinary. Three men carried the painting toward the simple cross on the south wall and hung it in its center.

Later the congregation processed forward to admire it.

There is a round worship table in the center of the congregation’s rounded seating area. On it, is a carving of the Tree of Life that Bill created in 2007. It is possible to view both his creations simultaneously.

It is not possible to express the pride and joy I felt to see his vision shared.

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