Embracing My New Friend

A Tribute to Rev. John Roberts

by Melissa Strickler
Reverend John Roberts, Egg Tempera, 23 Kt Gold - Commissioned

The time I spend writing icons can be a lonely time, but in the best way. Madam Guyon (1648-1717), a writer and mystic once said, “I love the lonely creative hours with God.” If I could speak to Madam Guyon today, I would tell her I couldn’t agree more.

During the creative hours of writing an icon I am talking to the Lord. I start my day and end my day with a more formal icon prayer, but during the hours I sit before an icon creating, the talk is more casual. I talk to God about all who will view the icon, and that it will bless them in ways seen and unseen. I pray for those who will commission the icon, and their family now and generations to come. And since there are many hours involved, I pray for the struggles and pain in the world. I pray for the best representation of the figure or figures I am painting, so those venerating the icon will feel a connection. There is something that happens which is hard to explain, but basically, I also find a true connection.

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