Day 5: Medicus Vulneratum


I’m writing today about yesterday because it came and went like a blur…a wonderful blur. So much so, that food was a very distant thought until it became clear I needed nourishment to keep going, and it was 11:30 p.m. before I realized I hadn’t blogged! (And by then I needed sleep.)

I was working from morning to night on the final project for my Lay Counseling Certification — designing and creating a coat of arms to represent the “kingdom” God has given me, in light of themes that have emerged during the course of the program, and seeing how those reflect in the gifts, passions, callings God has placed in my life. When I first read the assignment, I was completely overwhelmed and put it away for “later.” An art project? Seriously? Given I still carry scars from being shamed in third grade art class, this assignment was not something I relished, even though I KNOW doing anything creative like art brings healing to our brains. No matter, I still wasn’t excited about it. Besides, I had plenty of work to do for my other certification program, and more reading to do for this one, so it was easy enough to ignore the project; but as the deadline loomed, I knew I had to face the inevitable.

Once I sat down and really focused on the prep work, I was surprised by how quickly thoughts came to me, and as I jotted them down, I saw some patterns emerging and everything just fell into place. Excitedly, I grabbed the nearest piece of paper and a pen and began roughly sketching out symbols on a roughly-sketched quartered shield in my still-recovering-from-third-grade fashion. However it turned out, I knew this project would be a labor of love, but I also wanted it to be a work of art that I could frame and enjoy for the rest of my days. Ah…who better to call than my creative and artistic son, Caleb! And the collaboration began.

We spent most of yesterday Skype-chatting back and forth, swapping ideas, sharing images across cyberspace. Caleb created a template for me of a line drawing that had not only a shield but a beautiful crown. I put together the coat of arms using my adept coloring skills (the one thing I always did well in art class!), and printing out images from the internet to cut and paste — and I mean that literally — onto the shield. I am pleased with how it turned out and I’ll honestly be proud to turn it in for credit to complete the program. (I might even frame it, too!)

Caleb got to work creating one on the computer with far more color and detailing that only an artist can do. He knows some tricks of the trade to make things “pop.” It is a masterpiece! He’s about halfway done, and I am so excited to see each step of progress he makes. While I won’t turn this one in, I do plan to bring it with me to show people as it’s too beautiful to not share. And even though he did the artwork, the ideas mostly started with me. As Caleb said, “All of this is your idea, I’m just translating.” 🙂

Eventually I’ll share both coats of arms on this blog, but I want to wait until after I go to my final classes in Chicago at the beginning of April. Suffice it to say, what I had been dreading turned out to be not only a joy to work on, but a very rich experience both emotionally and spiritually.

To give just a hint: the title of today’s post is the phrase on the top banner of the coat of arms.

It’s Latin for “Wounded Healer.”


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