Pentecostal bannerSometimes, in order to meditate, one needs a focal point, something to concentrate the attention that would otherwise wander. Such objects should not get in the way of the object or Subject one really needs to think upon. They should be a kind of window, like the icons of the Orthodox.

The Pieta serves that purpose on my desk. It is a miniature copy of the Michelangelo sculpture that a thoughtful person brought to us from Rome many years ago. The Mother of Jesus cradles in her lap the still and broken body of her son. Her lap is huge. Her body with its flowing robes dwarfs the lifeless body of her son. The sculpture focuses the pathos of the progress of our human journeys. Both the human and divine possibilities and limits are present in that grief and love poured out.

Due to the continual clutter of my desk, as I work at home as I used to work at a church office, with several ongoing projects at the same time, one focal point does not hold my attention for as long as I would like. As long as my eyes are open, they will wander as much as my mind, as long as it is open too. Two other objects flank the Pieta—a bottle of all-purpose glue and a cartridge of correction tape. In the clutter of my life they provide appropriate accompaniments to the Pieta. They are as much windows into human and divine purposes as the Pieta, even if they are more mundane. The glue of divine love, passionately involved in human suffering, and the correction tape, covering absolutely the errors of human accident or willfulness, along with the Pieta, provide a useful Triptych. They make an altar that concentrates insight.