If you visit the LDS Church History museum before the end of this month, you can see their current exhibit, "Practicing Charity: Everyday Daughters of God". Specifically, you can see the painting that made me halt in my tracks and do a double take - Brian Kershisnik's Climbing Mother.
Why does this painting speak to me?
the youngest one in tears, the second-to-youngest trying to
hide her tears and the two over-excited, over-stimulated boys who
are seconds away from jumping out of the photo? Notice the terrible job this photo does of actually capturing the painting in question? Yeah.
Can you see the woman's weary, worn out profile? This is a tired mother -
stretched thin and exhausted. And yet in spite of her fatigue, she's not
unhappy and she's not complaining either. She wants this life
and she dearly loves both the baby in her arms and the one climbing on her
back. She's providing the physical back-bone (literally) under that
ladder and never discourages him in his ascent. What she lacks at this moment is strength.
I know these moments personally. Frequently.
then there's the angels above. The mother's not looking at them - and yet I can't figure out if she knows of their existence or not. Another gem - one of the angels is a man, the other is a woman. I don't
know why I like that so much, but I do. Angels of both genders are
watching out for her, blessing her. Lifting her.
spite of the usual craziness surrounding me that day, I stood there for a few
blessed moments of uninterrupted silence and cried. Bravo Kershisnik! You have captured one of those divine inarticulate pieces of motherhood.
And now it compliments our family room nicely.