Today has been sobering, emotional, sorrowful.
This morning as I tried to pray I struggled, I was angry, I was frustrated, I was heart sore. I couldn’t find the words to pray. In the past I have then been content to sit in silence and wait upon the Lord, this morning that was just not enough, I couldn’t sit still as families discovered their loved ones had been mowed down for no other reason than who they were. I turned to paint and painted a canvas black with red streaks. Still my mind was restless the darkness on the canvas didn’t make things better, didn’t reflect the hope my faith proclaimed, but my soul felt weak and battered. Why O Lord can people not live in peace, why can then not accept others for who they are? I lit a candle and tore myself away.
A little later on facebook I read a special and precious friend’s post, of his own journey: “I sought support and safety in gay bars and clubs. We were protected there.” ,
“No.” I said to myself, then out loud, “No they will not win, I will not let their darkness grab me.” I don’t think the intention of the post was to make me see that this horrendous attack had snatched away the safe place for many LGBTQI, people who even in this country know few enough places to be themselves. People who have to hide who they are in their workplace, in their communities, even in their churches and families. They now had their places of safety under treat and through that their very lives. For their sakes we can not let darkness win, we can not let fear be triumphant. So I headed back to the canvas and grabbed 7 tubes of paint and thickly plastered them on over the black, all the while praying, Lord don’t let the darkness win, in me or in others. Don’t let the darkness break through this wound hatred has caused, don’t let it fester doing more damage. Lord be not only with those who have been physically injured by this attack, but also all those LGBTQI people whose safety has been snatched away, who know less safety this day than they did yesterday because of the events in Orlando.
It felt cathartic; Let your love and peace rest over Orlando, I prayed, let your presence be with all your beloved children made in your image, sharing my image, who are LGBTQI. Let those of every faith and of none stand united against those who wish to bring harm to people and the world. I found myself reflecting on these verses from Mark 15.
37Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
I picked up a pallet knife and scrapped a path through the rainbow, I then painted the black back behind it and prayed again. O Lord bring healing where things are torn, don’t let the darkness win through. May your symbol of love and peace for all your people unite all peoples in the world and put a end to all hatred, bigotry and homophobia. Amen.
Today I have heard and seen on the news and in social media homophobia and hatred towards the LGBTQI community and Muslims in general. Those people do not speak for me nor do I believe do they speak for God/Allah. I do however have a firm hope that despite the sorrow of today, hope can rise triumphant tomorrow, healing can happen, making the world a better place, better even than it was before someone thought to buy a gun.
The painting is below, I have titled it – Lord Come Heal Our Wounds.