We feel the breakdown or anguish in this woman's face as the light and dark of the drawing struggle for resolution. In the transparency of the image, we glimpse the inner workings of the soul laboring to give birth. This is a transitional moment, a moment of breakdown or breakthrough, of closing or opening. The woman is on the verge of the new life that wants to be lived in her and through her, but in the process, she must encounter her own resistance and fear. Clearly she is in pain as she moves from the "no" of her life to the "yes" of this other, greater life. Fear has kept her trapped in her "no" for years. Her fears have weight and make a good argument for erring on the side of caution. But the spirit is neither careful, nor reasonable and when it strikes with all its fiery passion, it does so out of a reckless, unfathomable love.
Opening to the new can be costly, lonely and arduous. Bearing the "yes" of one's deeper life is as difficult as the final stages of childbirth. But when we are most unsure of ourselves, love sits next to us as a faithful midwife, urging us on, breath by breath and prayer by prayer.
See more images from the exhibit "Images in Reflection: A Collaboration of Art and Prayer," on view at the American Bible Society in New York.