Monday, November 9, 2009
St. Dymphna the Protector
I made this painting to thank St. Dymphna, and to honor her works in the lives those of us who ask for her help. I was moved to make this painting because of the following incident:
There is a person whom I am deeply concerned for. Being a recovering co-dependent, I have learned that worry is wasted energy, but that prayer is pro-active. There was a particular day several months ago when my sadness and concern felt so pointed that I prayed very intensely and with great focus.
I asked St. Dymphna to keep this individual in her care, to help them see their path, and to bless them with peace and joy. I asked her to help them see that their being is a beautiful miracle, and to not let them be overcome by despair. From nowhere, the scent of flowers wafted over me.
I glanced around me. It was not just the lovely smell of roses, it was the movement in the air, that it came from a direction, as though from a presence, that got my attention. It was not bloom time, the windows were closed, there was nothing near me-flowers, candles, incense- that would cause this scent. No one was home but my baby daughter (asleep on my lap), my dog (asleep at my feet) and I. I wasn't wearing perfume, and I have to use plain soap, but I sniffed my clothes just in case. Nope, not my clothes. I breathed in again. The scent was so present, yet so inexplicable. Then I knew: I was receiving a message, my prayer had been heard. Things like this just never happen to me, and I felt deeply grateful and very blessed. In making this painting I hope to share with others the peace and comfort I felt that day.
I surrounded the figures with oak leaves and branches, to symbolize the strength we need to overcome our wounds. St. Dymphna is guarding the person's light, making sure it is not blown out by the storm that surrounds them. The words around the border are St. Dymphna's message: " Heal. Live. Remember you are loved. Remember to take care of yourself."
The truth is, that I need these words, and I need St. Dymphna's help, just as much as my friend does. To love and care about a person with an unresolved mental health issue is a practice in faith, in turning it over to my higher power and letting go of fear every day.