Cover Art — Jan-Feb, 2013
Through desert heat they trudge, across years and stretched canvas and wrinkled newsprint, down through history and illustrated Bibles. Glints of polished metal and rich fabric attest to their status. Sometimes a swarthy cheek or slanted eye betrays faraway origins. Always their gifts are precious. Seldom do their faces betray the slightest hint of emotion. Usually their solemnity suggests the passing of some potentate rather than a birthday celebration. They had searched for three years or more. Weren't they the least bit relieved that their quest was finally fulfilled? Aren't they a bit surprised that the king they sought was born not in a palace but a stable?
Perhaps it is because history's art has been so devoid of emotion that I found The Magi from the Turvey Abbey, known for its contemporary icons, so captivating. While two of the Magi are expectedly somber, the white turbaned Magi shows the hint of a smile. Maybe a bleating lamb trying to get its mother's attention has caught his attention. Maybe he finds the setting of this royal birth just a little amusing. I think that the feeling in his heart just can't help slipping out around the corners of his mouth. They had found a rising king so great that an amazing star display fills the sky to herald his birth. Did this not merit a little joy? Of course! And there it is on the face of the anonymous king in the middle. This makes me smile, even as I share his joy in the birth of the King of history. I hope it does the same for you.