"You will be a better mom because you are a theologian, and a better theologian because you are a mom."

Is it true? In this blog, I explore the interplay and intersection of motherhood and theologianhood.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

St. Michael at the Door



Last year, I bought Jeff a gift in celebration of his first decade as a Catholic. It was an icon of St. Paul (his confirmation saint), a print of Rublev's image. Somehow I accidentally ordered two, and instead of returning one, he kept one at home and took the other to school.

In the process of "decorating" (this might be too strong of a description) our house, I hung up St. Paul next to a crucifix. Something was needed on the other side. None of our other icons were close enough in size or style. So at first I wanted to get an icon of my patron, but I couldn't decide exactly who that was (I have too many). Anyway, to make a long thought process shorter, I ended up purchasing St. Michael the Archangel, also depicted by Rublev. Jeff's had a devotion to St. Michael, and the size and style were similar to St. Paul (since it was the same artist).

I had been tracking the UPS package, so when the doorbell rang today and Maia asked, "Who do you think it is?"

I said, "St. Michael the Archangel, of course... I told you he was going to come today." I glanced out the window to see a UPS man on the front porch, and knew I was right before I opened the door. Maia hung back, uncharacteristically nervous and shy.

I opened the package right away and showed Maia. "See," I said, "St. Michael the Archangel was at the door. You've heard that prayer Daddy says, right?"

"Yes," she answered, but she looked confused. I hung up the icon, and we went in the kitchen for lunch. Maia still looked confused.

"But St. Michael was at the door?" she asked.

"Yes, and now he's hanging on the wall."

Another puzzled look. "But how did he ring the doorbell?"

It warmed my heart so much that I couldn't bring myself to explain all. Maia actually thought that St. Michael the Archangel had rung our doorbell and was coming to live with us. So I told her that the icon on the wall was a representation of St. Michael.

"Then where is he RIGHT NOW? Is he here?" she asked.

"Hmm... good question. Well, he probably is right here with us. Angels are always around, but you don't always know they're around."

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