My Justice Journey: Romanian icon

blog-3-arlingtonThe Revd Arlington W. Trotman

The home in which my parents raised me, and five other siblings, never encouraged play with or belief in religious icons, perhaps ensuring protection from ‘idol’ worship!

When I saw this icon in a Bucharest, Romania store at recess from the General Assembly of Churches’ Commission for Migrants (2011) - which I was privileged to chair for the final time over two three-year terms as Moderator - I was immediately reminded of two life-changing experiences.

blog-3-iconOne, in preparation for my researched Master’s final in Philosophy and Systematic Theology – which deeply influenced my entire career - I came across an artistic expression of Italian painter Botticelli’s The Madonna and Child with Singing Angels, used by the late, renowned, Professor Paul Tillich. It was a painting whose order, beauty and form were to Tillich “... an anchor in an uncertain world.”

Two, the icon evoked the image of Mary and the baby Jesus, of course, and with that, deeply etched in my consciousness, was the means in our world by which injustice anywhere was atoned, and reparatory justice secured.

Indeed, this icon also resonated truth about the heritage of mother and child, whose background transcended all cultural interpretations; it was dark, magnificent, and symbolic of our freedom from human domination: the divine sacrifices himself for me, for repair, for the victory of All.