The late Dr. Don Demaray, our beloved “Dr. Don,” Emeritus professor at Asbury Seminary, reveled in sharing memories of his days spent meandering around Scotland. On cool mornings, he could easily be noticed on a jaunt around the town of Wilmore, KY. You knew it was him when you saw his colorful Scottish Balmoral cap bobbing on top of his small frame.
In his dining room, which led into his study, there hung a painting that he purchased while in Edinburgh, Scotland. This famous piece of art hung over Dr. Don’s bed in a retirement facility as he made his journey to heaven. I can only begin to imagine the way the Lord spoke to him through the painter A. E. Borthwick. After his death, I was extremely blessed by his family to receive “The Presence,” and it now resides in my counseling room. I am praying that the message of this work will bless you today and that you will enter the cathedral with Jesus, as I am sure Dr. Don did many times.
Pause and Relax
Take a moment to leave your daily concerns at the feet of Jesus, so you may witness this holy scene unencumbered and undistracted.
Are you up front, ready to receive communion, or are you the woman at the back dressed in black?
This woman appears to be distressed. Do you perceive any dissonance within yourself?
Notice how the artist used light. Sit in the light and experience it.
What might the woman be saying to Jesus?
What might Jesus say to the woman?
The artist’s message is summed up in the words of a hymn by William Cowper (1769). May these words help guide your prayer:
Jesus, where’er thy people meet
there they behold thy mercy seat;
where’er they seek thee thou art found,
and every place is hallowed ground.
Image attribution: St. Mary’s Cathedral