Lent, Day 5

LOOK: Lessons of Hearing by Laura Makabresku

Makabresku, Laura_Lessons of Hearing
Laura Makabresku (Polish, 1987–), Lessons of Hearing, 2021, photograph

Laura Makabresku is the artist pseudonym of Kamila Kansy, whose photographs are inspired by dreams, fairy tales, and the Christian story. Surreal and spiritual, her body of work moves me immensely. It’s so poetic. Divine and human love and suffering are recurring themes, and animals—doves, crows, deer, lambs, foxes—often appear. Follow her on Instagram @lauramakabresku and on Facebook.

Lessons of Hearing shows a young woman alone in a shadowy domestic space, listening intently to the Spirit. A crucifix and an icon of the Virgin and Child hang above her on the wall. A limited edition of this photograph is available for sale—signed, numbered, printed on archival Hahnemühle Baryta paper, and framed. Contact the artist if interested.

LISTEN: “Bring Forth” | Words by John Ernest Bode, 1869, with adaptations and refrain by Ben Thomas, 2015 | Music by Ben Thomas, 2015 | Album: Bring Forth

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end;
Open my eyes within
To see your everlasting hand.
I shall not fear the struggle
If thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If you will be my guide.

[Refrain] Bring forth the truth and beauty
Embedded deep inside.
Breathe life in every moment.
You will not leave my side.

O let me hear thee speaking
In accents clear and still,
Above the storms of trials,
The murmurs of self-will.
O speak to reassure me,
Strengthen and make me whole;
O speak, and let me listen,
Creator of my soul.

[Bridge] Bring forth the beauty (×8)

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve thee to the end.

Edicam pulchritudine (×8)

This song is about coming home to who we were created to be—good and beautiful, reflections of our Maker. Sadly, sin often leads us away from home, and God’s image that we bear becomes marred. But Christ walks alongside us, calling forth our truest selves, reminding us that we are God’s beloved. We have been redeemed, made alive by God’s Spirit, and are being sanctified. God is bringing forth the beauty he embedded in us at creation.

The speaker of the song seeks Christ’s guidance, illumination, strength, and wholeness. He prays for the ability to discern God’s voice above all the voices of this world that try to tell us we are less than, or that only such and such will satisfy us. And he prays for the will to obey. His desire is that he be animated moment by moment by the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8).

The last line, which I take to be in God’s voice, is Latin for “I will bring forth the beauty.”

This song appears on the Art & Theology Lent Playlist.

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