March 11, 2015

Epiphany in Infancy by Connie Inglis

                          (The Adoration of the Magi by Jacob Jordaens)

Epiphany: (Oxford Dictionary)
1. The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
2. A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.

I do not think it coincidental that these are the two definitions of the word epiphany. I see them as  related. The Great Revelation of Christ to the magi--that "magical" awareness 2000+ years ago that this infant was God in human form--is not difficult to connect to that same "magical" realization that happens for us in a moment of epiphany. I believe it to be a Holy Spirit-driven awareness, an awareness that is not exclusive but inclusive. That's why I like Jordaen's version of this event--it is not just the magi that are there, but the simple townsfolk, people like me, who are there too, taking in that epiphanic moment.
The greatest epiphany in my life came when I tasted God's love and turned my life over to Jesus. Since then I have had a number of epiphanic moments in my faith walk. In my writing, however, there was no sudden burst of awareness but a subtle drawing to a desire.  My epiphanic moment arrived in infancy and has grown over time.

I shared in a previous post that I first started writing when I was nine or ten years old. I was working on a science fiction story, complete with illustrations, when one day I came home to find my mom had accidentally thrown away all my work that I had kept hidden in a manila envelope in the closet. I was devastated and sad and my pen remained silent for the next 35 years (Other than inconsistent journaling). And just like Jesus' birth came at a time in Jewish history when God had been silent, so my moment of inspiration came at a time when God seemed far away and I was in need of some encouragement. Surprisingly, the words flowed with ease and spilled out on to the page.

It was early 2006--the year our firstborn would be graduating from high school, returning to Canada and going on to secondary education while the rest of us remained in Thailand. It was a time of uncertainty for us as parents and yes, fear. But it was also a time when all three of our children were coming into their own, particularly with their giftedness in art: our daughters in fine art, our son in graphic art (Art on left by daughters Mykal and Kendra). It took me back to my childhood and my love for writing and art. The creativity I thought I had lost but now saw in my children, pulled me back into its realm. I was inspired or, as Madeleine L'Engle puts it, "in-spirited." It truly was Spirit-driven in its infancy. And God has kept me there, quietly helping me develop in it ever since. My epiphany i.e. His epiphany, came in the form of the following poem, a poem dedicated to my children:

The artist’s eye
            --seeing the unseen
Dip. Stroke.
Turning on the
            Light bending a brush with 1,000 colours—
            to a cataract world.
Gray-scale becomes
azure, magenta, chartreuse.

The artist’s ear
            --hearing the still, small Voice
Weave. Blot.
A single ink dot meaningless,
            but corporately—masterfully
            fortissimo to a deafened world.
Muffled becomes
pure yellow, blue, red.

The artist’s touch
            --molding the Supra-dimensional
Fire. Bisque. Fire.
A lump spinning on a wheel,
            driven emotion takes form through
            unique fingerprints—controlled strength.
Dull clod becomes
smooth, lustrous, unblemished.

The artist
breathes life into the medium
and takes your breath away.


  1. Your poem is beautiful. I am assuming that the art pieces are done by your children? Impressive. I had an interesting conversation with a colleague this Christmas about Epiphany. Many 'modern' folks, especially if they don't come from a traditional or orthodox background, do not know about 'Epiphany' - the twelve days after Christmas celebrated by many orthodox Christians.

  2. Thank you for this. I too let my pen go silent for many years after a disappointment and just like you God brought it back to me. Your poem is amazing. I just love it.

  3. Connie,
    Thanks for sharing how God rekindled your desire for writing. I gasped when I read about your first story being destroyed. I'm glad you're sharing your gifts again :)

  4. How wonderful that art is genetic and a tradition in your family, though non-traditional in form. I notice a strong sense of individuality in your writing and your two daughters' art. I love your poem with its strong images, like "Turning on the Light bending a brush with 1,000 colours to a cataract world." Beautiful! Now, we see through a glass darkly, Paul says. In other words with cataract eyes.

    The paintings too are breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Connie, my post (coming on the 14th) shares, too, how I began writing, but that voice was silenced for years. I wonder if the Lord is actually working during times like that: doing a work IN us until such time as we're ready for him to do a work THROUGH us? (Love the line: Light... to a cataract world!)

  6. Thanks all for your words of encouragement. It seems I'm not the only one who has had silent years. I think you're right, Bobbi, that during those times, God is working in us so that He can work through us. I just wish I had been more faithful in at least journaling during that time because there were many joy-filled years but also difficult years that I wish I had documented. But God's timing is perfect so I am thankful for where I am now.

  7. That's a beautiful poem. Well said.

  8. That's a beautiful poem. Well said.


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