This fantastic piece by Leila of Like Mother, Like Daughter calls us forth to evangelize with beauty, and to step away from a “war of words” fought emptily by lawn signs and statement banners. In her article, she posits, “If we merely post a “respect life” sign for the benefit of perfect strangers or our neighbors, we activate a response, pro or con. But if we show a Madonna and Child, we draw the passer-by into a different realm where the child is not only respected but loved and where we desire to be the sort of person who participates in that world of love.”
Today, we’re rounding up practical ways to let the beauty of religious shrines and art in our yards radiate truth, and invite all those who see such beauty into that “different realm” where God meets each one of us.
Front door shrine
Consider this gorgeous set up by Mary Elizabeth Jones (@maryelizabeth.jones). A wall niche with a statue of Jesus, Our Blessed Mother, or even a family patron saint can be flanked with seasonal greenery. The options for wall pedestals are endless: consider a shell inspired shelf for a statue of Our Lady Star of the Sea, or a simple wooden wall shrine for a family crucifix.
Halley walks through how she painted this resin statue into a gorgeous white image of Our Lady. Although statues of Our Lady are typically stationed in our backyard gardens, consider a large scale statue in the front yard for passerby’s to see. Follow Halley’s tutorial for a “DIY stone” statue for a budget friendly option. For displaying a smaller statue outside, consider a pedestal like this.
A mid-sized wooden niche is a great way to make a little shrine on the front porch, near (or even attached to the face of!) a front yard tree trunk, or if you’re handy, fastened to a post to make an affordable version of a wayside shrine that’s eye level, similar to these gorgeous handmade ones that list at much higher price points.
Stations of the Cross
As Leila outlines in her article, words, catch phrases, banners and flags about love, suffering, sacrifice or how we should conduct ourselves does not invite hearts to contemplate the truth, as the”for” or “against” response they elicit so often renders a fiery impasse. But images of The One who, through His Passion, shows us perfect love, redemptive suffering, voluntary sacrifice, and truly salvific conduct can invite the viewer into a deeper encounter with beauty and truth in a way slogans simply cannot.
In this way, beauty is redemptive. And beauty truly can save the neighborhood.