Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.
- Jonathan Swift
The stained glass window of the Annunciation as envisioned by Gen Underwood, RSHM is such an experience of making visible the invisible. Mary, enveloped by an angelic presence, is clothed in fiery yellows and oranges, filled with the Spirit who overshadows her with Pentecostal life and energy.
In contemplating this image, I was reminded of our 2007 Chapter commitment to transcend personal, cultural and national boundaries by entering into the cultural and religious experience of others. My own personal commitment engaged me in a study of Islam and a reading of the book, Oil and Water, by Amir Hussain. In his commentary on his faith, Amir notes that God’s angels surround us at all times, recording our deeds, and bringing God’s blessings to our world. When Muslims greet one another, the greeting is always plural, because one not only greets the person, but also the angels that accompany her or him.
For me this is a beautiful gesture – how different our encounters with others would be, if we, like Gen, could acknowledge the angelic presence that surrounds each individual. We, too, could recognize the other as “full of grace,” “favored” by God, “blessed” among women and men! How wonderful it is to live in a pluralistic world, where art and faith reveal the invisible – the divine indwelling of a God made flesh among us. Sister Cathy Minhoto, RSHM