We are always interested to read how one discovers the beautiful language of contemplative prayer known as Iconography. The story of Evangeline begins today and we hope to read more of her journey as she continues on her path. “Vangie” as she is known to friends and family is the woman at the front desk of the Best Western Hotel in Stafford, Virginia. This is the hotel icon students stay in while attending Fr. Mefodii’s icon workshops in September of each year. In her own words, she relates the beginning steps of her journey.
“The Journey That Was Meant To Be” by Evangeline Johnson
The journey started over 3 or 4 years ago sometime in July I think when I received a request to hold 8 rooms for a workshop in September…didn’t have any idea where it is taking place & didn’t have any clue the nature of the workshop. Ms. Laymon (who I now address as “Matuska”) have mention “iconography workshop” but I didn’t have idea what does that actually entails.
The day before the workshop, a gentleman checked in…he introduced himself as Fr. Mefodii…I became curious being a Catholic…if he is a priest…what order does he belongs to..what does he do…what was his mission…where is he assigned. A sudden urge of curiosity…a desire…a hunger for something mystical came overpowering a heart felt desire to know…to learn what Fr. Mefodii has to offer…and want that with the fervent desire in my heart…a longing for something…something beautiful and wonderful.
Fr Mefodii briefly mentioned that he is is a monk….that he is here to teach a language writing class …I think that’s what he said in his very modest way…which immediately created in my heart a sudden yearning for…and whatever it is…I want to know…to learn…to be a part of it.
Then a Catholic nun checked in an hour later saying that she is here for the same workshop…my curiosity perked up and wonder why all the more…there must be somethhng special about this workshop…then almost everyone checked in…then. Last but not least, a smiling lady with her husband arrived.
One day the smiling lady stopped at the front desk with her co-participant at the workshop for some question which ended up sharing the icon they were working on…describing the journey…then, a 360 degree started taking over….started rolling precise…fast and clear….my heart,soul and spirit was with ever word & gesture of expression they make…them saying “the transformation that transpire in every stroke…the prayer that comes with every stroke of the brush is a communion with God…the offering they bring before God in that preciuos moment is a gift from heaven…the devotion this lovely lady has for the goodness and the glory of God is so vivid and contagious…the beauty..the purity of her heart..her loving kindness and friendship is overwhelmingly beautiful…her devotion to the creator,the heavenly Father…the beauty that she sees beyond everyone and the situation she is in…her true and special intercession with St. Anthony is incredible…it amazingly inspiring.
Mick, is a gift from heaven….an inspiration…a friend who speaks from the heart…and she is a humongous part of this journey that I am so ever grateful for…the blessings she brings into our lives for the glory of God is something I will always treasure and be thankful for.
Vangie received the opportunity to begin writing her first icon, Archangel Michael at Fr. Mefodii’s workshop this past September, 2014. Vangie now visits with Fr. Mefodii at the Skete of St. Maximos in Palmyra, Virginia to finish the icon she began. Very meticulous in her approach, she is nearing completion and is doing an amazing job!