A few years ago, I was engaged in a social media discussion/debate that took place after some big national tragedy. It’s sad now that I can’t remember which one. Anyway. In the comments, more than one person remarked that they looked forward to the day when the Lord came again and all of this hatred and division would cease to exist. I was so very perplexed by this line of thinking because I see these issues as ones that, we humans, can fix without a celestial being coming down to save us from ourselves.
Fast forward to 2019. I attended the Atlanta Families Belong Together Rally earlier this summer. For me, rallies and protests are a wonderful testament to the good that live in people’s hearts. Our group was at the front of the march, so we didn’t really get a good understanding of just how many people were in attendance until we were at the end of the march. Standing on the courthouse steps and looking down at the mass of people pouring in around the corner - it was awesome to see all of the people. The signs, the chants and just the energy of the day felt like love on display.
Among the masses, there was a group of people holding blue signs that read “Wherever you are, there God is.”
“Damn. That’s right,” my heart said.
The group was too far away for me to see if they were from a particular church or if they were quoting a bible verse. But I didn’t really care. The blue sign hit me like a truck. It immediately brought me back to the online conversation from a few years prior and this image showed up in my head a week or two after the rally.
I haven’t taken the time to research the phrase. I don’t know it’s original intent or if it’s part of a larger story. For me, it just speaks to showing up to daily life like God is there. In my bleeding heart of hearts, I believe that as humans - if we encountered God - no matter what denomination or faith system we come from - I believe that we would step up and exemplify the best of ourselves. I believe that we would be humble, loving, kind. I believe that we would truly LISTEN to one another in order to understand. I believe that’s what we would do if God showed up. Our hearts would be open. We would help. We would forgive. We would love.
I’m not a religious person, but I do believe in something bigger than us. I do believe that we, as humans, have the power to make this world a better place NOW instead of waiting for angels or Jesus or God or Allah or whoever it is that you pray to, come along and save us from ourselves. It is hard work though. Super hard sometimes. Forgiveness is a bitch. Giving someone grace feels impossible at times. Loving someone as yourself is scary as hell - especially if they look different than you, love different than you, pray to someone different than you or have opinions different than you. It’s super hard.
But I love this notion of stepping up. I love the idea that we have the power to be better, kinder, more loving, forgiving, better listeners at any point in our day, no matter where we are.
I’m so happy with this piece. It’s one of those rare times where a painting came out almost exactly as I had envisioned it. I’ve been scared to give it life. It’s different than the other stuff I’ve done to date, but it feels like one of the most honest, and true to me, pieces that I’ve done. It’s not perfect, but neither am I and I’m ok with that. There is joy in the journey.