—Br. Ælred Senna
Ælred Senna, OSB, is a monk of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, and associate editor of Give Us This Day.
The prophet Elijah is one of the most revered figures in Judaism. To this day, his name is invoked weekly at the closing of Shabbat, and Jews continue to set a place for Elijah to return each year at Passover. His great trust in God in the face of a seemingly endless string of hardships provides, for Jews and Christians alike, one of the strongest models of faith found in the Hebrew Scriptures. His story begins in 1 Kings 17 when he prophesies a drought and God sends him to live east of the Jordan where he is to be fed by ravens. Cody Miller’s image Elijah Being Fed by the Ravens shows us the holy prophet seated near the Wadi Cerith—a stream—with a small waterfall in the background, attended by ten ravens.
Mr. Miller’s chosen media are cut paper and paint. He says they allow him to show “the layers of God’s grace through individuals who dared to trust Him and expose His spendthrift goodness, layer by layer.” Miller’s construction of the scene from bits of paper, ink, and paint is a way of reminding us that, when we trust in God’s guidance and infinite goodness, we find order emerging even from the chaos of unrelated, disorderly scraps. In commenting on this image, he notes, “It’s the hardest thing to let God be Himself in our lives, to not reduce Him to something more manageable, more tame.”
After the wadi dried up, the events of Elijah’s life grew ever more difficult to manage, but his constant trust in God got him through. Ultimately, his faith enabled him even to perform miracles. Holy Prophet Elijah, pray for us, that our own trust in God may be as robust as yours.
Visit Miller’s website at www.codyfmiller.com to see more of his art.
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