Editor’s note: Over the next four days we will be publishing four paintings by Silvia Dimitrova and four poems by Bishop Graham Kings expounding the paintings. These paintings form part of a series of seven paintings portraying women in the Bible, which Silvia and Graham are working on over 20 years.

Silvia Dimitrova is a Bulgarian icon writer based in Bath, England.

The four paintings and poems in the series so far are “Magdalene” (2003) in the garden with the risen Jesus; “Lydia” (2009) at Philippi with Paul; “Priscilla” (2013) at Ephesus with Aquila; and “Sarah” (2015) with Abraham at Mamre.

In the next few years, the remaining three to be completed are “Miriam” (with Moses), “Ruth” (with Boaz) and “Esther” (with Mordecai).

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Magdalene

Who is this woman facing this man?
Head lightly inclined,
Eyes wide open, gazing;
Hands uplifted, palms upward, surprised;
Gorgeously arrayed.

Who is this man facing this woman?
Coming from the right,
Profile clear, bearded;
Hand outstretched, palm down;
Gloriously apparelled.

Behind her, two angels hover
Reflecting her shape:
Behind him, scented trees lean
Setting the scene:
Below her, a dark opening hints.
All silent witnesses.

The eyes have it:
Focus of tension and attention.
One word awakes her: ‘Mary’.
One word responds: ‘Rabbouni’.

Their hands shape a triangle
At the centre of meeting:
Her two, shocked and suppliant;
His one, blessing, calming, sending.

 

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Graham Kings (@MissioTheology) is Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion, a new post set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Durham University, and the Church Mission Society. His other posts are here.

About The Author

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Graham Kings (@GrahamRKings) is Honorary Assistant Bishop of Southwark, parish priest at St. Matthew’s at the Elephant, London, and a Senior Common Room member, St Chad’s College, Durham University.

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