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Count Pietro Rotari was an 18th century artist who received the invitation of the Empress Elizabeth of Russia, daughter of Peter the Great, to come to St. Petersburg as First Painter of the Court. There he was commissioned by Empress Catherine the Second to paint 850 portraits of young Russian women, 850 portraits that devotedly bore an unusual resemblance to Catherine as well as his subjects. It is said that in each picture there was some gesture, pose, facial characteristic, jewel, flower or dress that provided a delicate reference to the empress.

Now I tell you this because it resembles so clearly what Christ and His light brings into our lives. For when we live in fellowship with Him, by God’s grace He paints delicate resemblances of Himself into us – new attitudes, a reordering of our priorities, new found hope, restored confidence. He would stamp into our lives a willingness to give our trust to one another, not because they deserve it; but...

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