Icons are ‘Windows into Heaven’

By Gina Sternfels

Being a mom with three boys at home, I missed my creative time and space. I love to paint, but my duties were away from the brushes.

However, it has been on my bucket list for years to take an Icon painting class, and finally, I was able to do an online course my husband gave to me.

In the beginning, the instructor taught us that you do not “paint” an icon but “write” an icon.  Writing an icon lets me explore my faith and all the truths it holds for us. In that class, I was there still with God, affirming that I was where he wanted me. I could deepen my relationship with him by being open to learning and being still.

Icons are perfect for that – they are referred to as “windows into heaven.” That comparison helped me understand why I was always drawn to them. Yes, it was pleasing to my eyes, but there was a tug on my heart pulling me to them.

Icons remind me that God is calling me to be still during my day, if just for a moment.

I love that my boys see me grow in my faith. And, they are learning more, by having icons in our home and seeing me grow in my Catholic faith in ways so they, too, can get an opportunity to have those windows into heaven around them.

In writing an icon, I have learned to pray more by digging deeper into our faith, the saints and Scripture.  Spending time with icons has led me to more clarity of heart. Also, I am getting to share and evangelize as a Catholic mom by writing icons.

Mark 4:39 says, “And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush, be still’. And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.”

How is God calling you to spend time with him?

What does God want to say to you at that time?

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