A gallery of modern art is very close to our home in Poznań. A small one, with the name of only one artist. I passed by many times, seeing pictures in the window. As usual in modern art, the interpretation of a few strokes on canvas can probably be very different, but the only thing that mostly came to my mind were naked women. The rounded figures were very characteristic, and although I have no idea what the images were supposed to represent, they rather made me feel uneasy than delighted by art.
One day, however, something caught my attention. Among the brightly coloured works filling the space of the gallery, on a wooden easel, there she was. Pneumatophora. The icon of Our Lady carrying the Holy Spirit, freshly started, outlined only with a black line. I was definitely not expecting this. Not there! There were three of us that day, walking on a winter evening and each of us looked through the glass like she saw a ghost.
The story continued, because each week the icon was being filled with colours. Blue, red and gold contrasted with the plastic colours of other paintings and brought a special atmosphere into the room. I have no idea how Pneumatophora found herself in this suspicious gallery, but for me it became an inspiration before this time of Lent. Jesus came into the world, died and resurrected, so that everything could be filled with the purity of the Holy Spirit. Not in those places where everyone puts their hands together to prayer and acts impeccably, but precisely in those that seem most distant from holy. If during Lent we are to focus on our conversion, that is changing our thinking, is it not the point to see that God is the Lord of everything? He is in all the places where we see only suffering, evil and sin. He is crying with us there.
Maybe we only need one thing? To find a place where we least expect God and see that there is a whole lot of Him there.