Consider The Lilies is very obviously taken from Matthew 6:25-34. Cottrell sees the figure of Jesus as a rock, monumentally rooted, and draws various references from that image (today being the final day of Pope Benedict XVI being pope, I am reminded of Peter being the rock on which the human church is founded – here perhaps is the Christ on whom the transcendent church rests?).
He comments on the fact that Jesus looks fat – one of the few depictions where this is so. Odd that I didn’t see him as fat, just as I wouldn’t think of a bear as fat – just an awful lot of muscle and power….and all concentrated so hard on a small delicate daisy. Is that how God looks at each of us?
Cottrell finishes with a long quotation reminding us to seize each moment, to risk living in the moment instead of looking too far forward. We are reminded that we seldom regret making the most of opportunities, while we might well regret those we let pass by. For this structured, planned, not terribly spontaneous curate, joyfully going with the flow is quite a challenge – but a challenge I relish.
I still love this picture. But I prefer the image of the living breathing powerful inquisitive bear for Christ over the beauty, majesty and eternal nature of a rock. After all, bears could, in theory, be cuddly!