Dream word – HUMILITY
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Those who uphold Egypt shall fall, And the pride of her power shall come down. From Migdol to Syene Those within her shall fall by the sword,’ Says the Lord God.”
How to behead yourself
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, jumped and mugged coming out of a bar in Sicily, is so savagely beaten that he is reported in Rome as being dead! When the report came that he was alive, it was also reported that he was nevertheless, severely disfigured, having had his head seemingly attempted to have been removed from his body. Many artist historians say that this was Caravaggio’s darkest hour, and during his recovery, whilst trying to gain pardon for a murder he had committed during a duel in Rome, in 1606 Caravaggio painted David With The Head of Goliath.Caravaggio, a fleeing murderer, had a reward on his own head. Literally if anyone brought in his head, they would get a reward.
The painting, David With The Head of Goliathis in fact a Caravaggio self-portrait. The young David is Caravaggio as a younger man and the miserable dead head of Goliath in the painting’s sad hands of David, is Caravaggio in the here and now. Charlie White, American artistic photographer in his series Everything is American and the photograph called “Champion” uses the same David and Goliath theme and artistic trick in substituting his features for the younger David and the severed head of Goliath. No, the difference in the two works of art is substantial. The photographic art of White shows the self-portrait trick but Caravaggio most certainly shows the event itself, the slaying of the giant, and in particular his deep involvement in the same. What most separates these two pieces of artwork, is neither material nor method, neither background nor distance in time, but rather the presence of David’s sword. In Caravaggio’s work, David still holds his sword and on it is inscribed “H-AS OS”, that is, “humilitas occidit superbiam”, or “humility conquers pride”!
Tragedies of life can many times move us out onto the field of battle to meet our own personal giants. Giant pride is one which we shall meet again and again. Whilst most of the time we are content to deal with the disposal of cobwebs, personal tragedy invites us to deal with the spider and that spider often is called Pride. Carravagio had a multitude of personal problems, emotional and most definitely psychological. What would we expect? For what else is giant pride but pure, blind madness. It needs dealing with friends so tell me, what tragedies have come upon you, come upon you continually? Tell me, what truth, what bad, sad, malevolent and self-murdering truth have you been running from within your soul? Tell me, within you, has David got Goliath’s head, or Has Goliath got David’s head?
Produced by the BBC, Simon Schama’s eight-part serial on the Power of Art so wonderfully tells the story of Carravagio. “For me,”he says, “The power of his art is the power of truth, not least about ourselves, for if we are ever to have a chance of redemption it must begin with an act of recognition that in all of us, the Goliath competes with the David.”How very honest!
In finally summing up the story of the maniacal genius of Caravaggio, Schama, visibly moved by this particular portrait, wonderfully deciphers the sullen art work as being painted in colourful brail, shadows, light and half light, remarking that it tells of the artists plea to the Roman authorities. “‘Here I am,’ says this dead face which seems still alive, ‘They said whoever delivers my head will get a reward, well, I am turning myself in, will that do, can I have my reward, can I have my pardon?’” Sinner, you must Turn yourself in to God. Confess your head right off and turn yourself in to God.
Listen: “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18.NKJV
Pray: Lord, here is my head. Please forgive me my sin and this spider in Your court. Lord, please renew me into my right mind, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.
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