During an evening Mass, my five year old son Elias sketched, with pencil and paper, the most beautiful rendition of the crucified Christ that I had ever seen. Borrowing Elias’ design, altering it some and infusing it with color, I created this painting. I dedicate it as a prayer for Elias, that he may one day regain the hearing in his right ear, which he lost at the age of four due to a virus that also caused him to have temporary paralysis on one side of his face. Thanks be to God, Elias regained all the movement in his face and is able to hear very acutely in his left ear, with which he compensates for the hearing loss he suffered in his right ear. I rejoice that Elias can hear from his left ear completely and speak perfectly well, despite his inability to hear from his right ear. He is excelling in all aspects of life, praise be to God, and his circumstance does not impede him. Elias has taught us to look at the glass half full as opposed to half empty.
My prayer is that the simple composition, openness and bright colors of this painting will remind people that there is joy to be found even in suffering, and that if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must be like children, as the scripture says. It is therefore most meaningful that this joyful image of Christ on the cross was conceived in church, via the drawing of a child (my son Elias) who was learning to cope with a physical loss he bore but which did not erase his zeal for life.