Tag Archives: art

Together

By Phillip Medhurst [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), from Wikimedia Commons

Let us walk together in our quest for unity, peace, and love.

Let us remember God’s power gives us the authority to eliminate divisiveness, war, and fear.

Let us live in humble awareness of God’s will that we love one another as God loves each of us.

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. Mark 6:7

Graced

Orant statuette
alabaster, 3300 BC
Uruk Period
Louvre Museum [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, CC BY-SA 3.0 fr or CeCILL], from Wikimedia Commons


Three times I begged the Lord about this [thorn in the flesh], that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

In those moments when I am nagged by sadness or pain or fear, when I feel I cannot live one more second in this affliction, grace nudges me to call on the Lord, whose faithful compassion blesses me with a moment of rest from the “angel of Satan.” God’s power carries me because I cannot carry myself.

Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy. Psalm 123:2cd

Afflicted

James Tissot (1836-1902)
L’hémoroïsse
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

Rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, dyslexia, migraine, alcoholism, glaucoma, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness: affliction is a part of the human condition.

Through no fault of our own, our genes and bodies and minds have been wired for our particular afflictions. And while we may seek mainstream medical solutions and traditional therapies to help us cope, some afflictions don’t go away.

Afflictions do not make us unworthy of God’s love, or “less than” as human persons. We are made in the image of God’s love and goodness—and nothing can change that.

Our most important work is not to figure out why we are afflicted, but to reach out in humility to touch the Lord and ask for compassion and healing in whatever form they may manifest: mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Mark 5:25-29

The work of today

The Birth of St. John the Baptist
Spain, ca.1525
Gilded wood
Art Institute of Chicago

My daily work is to show up for life, treat all people with compassion, generosity, and respect, take care of today’s responsibilities, and help manifest God’s vision of peace, unity, and love in our fragile world.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. Isaiah 49:4

Nourished by Love

JESUS MAFA. Detail of Jesus from the Lord’s Supper, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved June 3, 2018]. Original source: Librairie de l’Emmanuel

Jesus offers us a new covenant, one that nourishes our minds, hearts, bodies, and spirits with the very essence of the Lord: Love.

Each of us needs the food and drink of love to be fully alive and human. God’s love empowers us to stand tall, rejoice with the knowledge of our unique place in God’s heart, and be aware of God’s blessings and grace even when life circumstances trouble us.

May I remember to offer God’s love to all those I encounter today.

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. Mark 14:22-23

In this moment

Unknown Icon Painter, Russian (active 1690-1710 in northern Russia)
The Holy Trinity
egg tempera on wood, between 1690 and 1710

We are in the presence of God. Now.

We are not alone. We have not been abandoned. The Lord is with us always.

Listen to the silence. Feel the fullness. Absorb the peace.

Trust.

[Jesus approached and said to them,] “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

The language of love

JESUS MAFA. Pentecost, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved May 20, 2018]. Original source: Librairie de l’Emmanuel

The language of God’s Holy Spirit is love. Whomever I speak with, wherever they’re from, no matter how different they seem from me: we all understand the spoken and unspoken language of love, compassion, and acceptance.

May the language I choose always express God’s Spirit of love and compassion.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Acts 2:4-6