Go ahead, ask me why.
Because of the “baby soul.” Just look at that picture for a minute–the apostles are gathered around, Jesus has come to escort his mother’s soul to heaven and carries it in His arms, a reverse image of icons of the Nativity. Every time I see this image I nearly weep and I cover it with an almost embarrassing number of kisses. I love it.
It gives me hope. I believe, in fact, that darn near everything you need to know about the Gospel of Christ is in that icon. We too shall be made new.
To someone who traffics in human misery at what may be great personal expense, it is a beacon of Good News. When we follow Christ, when we listen to Him as “She who gave birth to God the Word” did, we too will rise for like her we only sleep.
Today at church, Fr. Andrew baptized a baby girl, just a few months old. As he carried her around the front, bringing her into the church and presenting her before the altar and introducing her to all the saints who surround us, I noticed how similar the image was to the icon. Like our earthly spiritual fathers carry us and shepherd us through this life, we will one day be carried home. Even those of us who say things we shouldn’t, who do things we ought not, who try and fail, run and fall.
One day, all will be made new, even after we sleep.
Happy feast day, everyone!