Connor worships at St James Church in Slaithwaite, and he has a gift for creating art through carving and working with his hands. Connor has recently tried to move from ‘buying’ gifts for others, to ‘making’ gifts for others. This year he carved an angel. Here is the story behind it…
For the past few years I have tried to ‘buy’ fewer gifts and instead ‘make’ more gifts for my family at Christmas. I do this through all the creative activities I partake in whether it be drawings, metal and wood ornaments and so on.
A month prior to Christmas my grandmother was struck with bad health that led her to be rushed her into hospital to be kept there for an apprehensive week while doctors diagnosed the issue and kept her stable. The uncertainty of the situation became anxiety provoking, as it reflected parts of my own uncertainty about the future.
My gift [to her] was a wood carving of a angel made from the Linden tree, limewood is a traditional wood for carving and would be common in many churches. After the wood was carved into the rough shape it was made by slow and meticulous cuts with chisels and gouges to create the form of the human angel representation.
I believe angels come to us in times of hardship and offer help and guidance as God’s will, sometimes in ways we do not see. As was the function of the angel of light Uriel, gave strength and guidance we could not summon from within. This was written about in the apocryphal book of Esdras (chapter 4 verse 11) when the angel Uriel said to Ezra “how then can your mind comprehend the way of the Most High? And how can one who is already worn out by the corrupt world understand incorruption?”
How can one be strong when worn down by suffering and how can one be set upon the path when shrouded in darkness, so this is why I carved the angel so the angel representation can be a spark of connection to the divine guidance.