September 21

“The cross heals us. The cross speaks God’s love to us. The cross becomes the Tree of Life.”

These are the opening statements of Pastor Barbara Rossing’s message on the cross. I am grateful for the opportunity to listen to it again this morning… twice.

I am also grateful for the practices that Resmaa Menakem describes in his book, My Grandmother’s Hands. I need them desperately in order to hold what I see in the images created on this day: the light-hearted joy of song from a white family’s road trip and the heavy-hearted moan of suffering from a people forever stolen from family and home.

Draw us all to your heart of love, Holy One. Embrace us in your yes. Heal us in your mercy.


2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation on September 21, 2018:
“The only sound that would carry Africans over the bitter waters was the moan. Moans flowed through each wracked body and drew each soul toward the center of contemplation. . . . One imagines the Spirit moaning as it hovered over the deep during the Genesis account of creation [Genesis 1:2]. Here, the moan stitches horror and survival instincts into a creation narrative. . . . On the slave ships, the moan became the language of stolen strangers, the sound of unspeakable fears, the precursor to joy yet unknown. The moan is the birthing sound, the first movement toward a creative response to oppression, the entry into the heart of contemplation through the crucible of crisis.”

2020

“…people visit my office to be with my settled, regulated nervous system… What takes place is energetic, chemical, biological—a synching of vibrations and energies. My nervous system does not model the way; over time, it helps other nervous systems access the same infinite source that mine does. … This settling of nervous systems, and this connection to a larger Source, is vital to healing.” —Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands, p. 152

“Seven Years of Wonder” is a daily look back at my creative journaling posts since 2014. I began this journey on Feb. 11, 2021, and hope to continue through Feb. 10, 2022. What am I learning about my art and faith journey thus far? What has remained constant? Where have I been changed? How is this impacting present and future art-making?

A deep bow of gratitude to you for keeping me company on this journey.

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