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Painting Shows a Prophet's Change of Course

In the Sacred Museum of the Vatican, there is a sixteenth-century sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini entitled "Habakkuk and the Angel." In this masterpiece, Habakkuk is holding a packed bag, as if he is traveling somewhere, and his movement is forward, as if he is walking ahead. However, his movement is impeded by an angel hovering above him, who has grabbed this startled prophet by the hair, as if lifting him to heaven.

There is something about that image that is so apropos to us. Some of us are very much on our own way, walking in a very different direction than God would have us walk. We need to be redirected, to be pulled by the hair, if you will, up into the heavens to see what Habakkuk saw (1:1)—a vision of God. For only a vision of the triune God can produce this kind of … living, walking, moving forward, lifted high … kind of faith.

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