Einar Jónsson, 1874-1954

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“Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you…” The embrace that the sculpture portrays brings the observer into this secret space between mother and child. This mother is not only shielding the child from outside forces but is providing comfort and rest. Her body is making certain of the child’s physical safety, and her heart ensures the child’s emotional security. The child laying on the mother’s heart evokes a visceral connectedness; mother and child are linked by the heart in deep love.

The text states that the “Most High” is the dwelling place for safety. To dwell means to remain in a place for a period of time. In the Prophet, the poet Kahlil Gibran says that to truly love is to be in God’s heart. Both texts suggest that by making the Most High one’s dwelling place there is freedom because that place is secure. God draws us into God’s heart for our physical safety and emotional security. When God is home, and we love with God’s heart there is joy divine, peace of mind, and love that is boundless. --Olusola Tribble

Date:20th century
Artist:Einar Jónsson, 1874-1954

Scripture:Psalm 91:9-16
Isaiah 2:1-5
Lectionary links:BProp24
General Subject:Refuge

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Attribution:Einar Jónsson, 1874-1954. Vernd/Protection, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 17, 2024]. Original source:
Record Number:54159 Last Updated: 2020-09-30 11:13:26 Record Created: 2009-01-13 11:05:19
Institution:Vanderbilt University Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition