The Cross, the Lonely Owl and COVID-19


my flying owlOn Holy Saturday, I was drawn to read Psalm 102. Like many during these days of isolation, I was feeling lonely and crying on the inside. I remembered the “lonely owl of the wilderness” which is identified with Christ in his suffering, and turned to this psalm. The psalmist writes,

Hear my prayer, O LORD; Let my cry come to you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress… I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places. (Psalm 102:1-3; 6, NRSV)

Cross_©2020 BBjelland

The psalm oscillates between despair and promise:

You will rise up and have compassion on Zion…He will appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute. (Psalm 102: 13; 16-17, NRSV)

I noticed in these verses, that God’s glory is combined with God’s compassion.

This is who our God is.

That made me smile on the inside.



Resurrection Garments and Psalm 102

After more desolation, the psalmist proclaims:

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hand. They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like clothing…(Psalm 102: 25-26)

I was reminded of a New Testament passage where Paul takes up the clothing metaphor:

For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life (II Corinthians 5:4).

Paul envisions death as being lovingly bestowed with new clothes (even more clothes than we had before!) by the hand of our Maker. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul sees the blooming of a whole new world.


In my painting, the risen Christ ascends in glory. Jesus’ dazzling face and garments point to the glory of the New Creation. He is the “first fruits,” and one day everything, including us, will be gloriously renewed.

If we belong to Christ, we are already risen and ascended with him into God’s presence. He clothes us with kindness, humility, patience and love (Colossians 3:1-14).

That thought inspired me to go for a little run by the lake. I saw eagles.

Let us go in peace to love and serve the LORD.

One thought on “The Cross, the Lonely Owl and COVID-19

  1. Thank you Barbara, Your art and message are especially inspiring in these difficult times. With my love, Mom


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