The Scorpion

Asian forest scorpion (Heterometrus laoticus) in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand by Chris Huh

Scorpions are not creatures we naturally like.  Not only are they like spiders (which actually I don’t mind, but worry a lot of people), but they have added claws and a sting.  You certainly wouldn’t want to stand on one!

Yet here is Jesus holding one in his hand.  And not just holding it, but gazing at it with great interest.  Would I pick up a scorpion?  I’m sure I wouldn’t.  Yet Jesus doesn’t mind.  Does he see just one of God’s creatures as much in need of some care as the next?  Apparently, though scorpions have a reputation, only around twenty-five species are capable of killing a human being.  So is it a case of their reputation being worse than their bite?

So what things and people do I steer well clear of because of their perceived danger.  Are there people whose reputation is far worse than their bite?  They are just God’s creatures in need of some care and attention, but I avoid them because I believe what people say, or I think?

And what about those hands of Jesus.  Big hands.  Safe hands.  They’re not going to drop anything.

When I think of God, I often have a picture in my mind of sitting in the palm of his hand.  That to me feels like a safe and secure place – very much what Spencer gives the image of here.  Jesus’ focus is entirely on what he is holding.  I like that.

These are my thoughts on spending some time with the picture.  I’ll go on to look at what Stephen Cottrell has to say about it…

These thoughts are reflecting on Spencer’s painting The Scorpion (seen here at the bottom of the second page).

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts

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