Friday, January 14, 2011

Compassion: His Crown

"His Crown" medium: newspaper, poly urethane, and stenciled spray paint. Compassion: to suffer with. I did this piece after some reflection on what it means to be a modern Christian in America. the main-stream church at large does not follow the example i see in Christs suffering, and sharing burdens of others. I do see "charity" but that can be worlds a part from actually walking with someone in their trial; living, breathing their pain and loss. we live in a country where comfort and security are the strivings and goals of everyone, even the church,. It seems to come way above simplicity and self sacrifice, which was the walk of Christ. we always like to make our gods and masters look like ourselves, and some ways, even though we claim to worship Jesus, we're just worshiping a projected view of ourselves, cause we've made him look just like us. white, blond hair, blue eyes, patriotic, comfy and clean. though you may hear a sermon or see a image of Jesus on the cross that might give the impression otherwise, the loudest message comes from the expectations and judgments that stand at the pulpits and sit in the pews. i say this cause that is what is expected of anyone walking into most churches. When i read the gospels, it doesn't quite look like that. They called him "the sufferer", so if we are to follow Jesus, that means choosing to step outside of our comforts and securities into sacrifice and standing in solidarity with others; sitting with the tax collector, pardoning the harlot, embracing the diseased, welcoming the foreigner, and loving all enemies. Jesus was a radical, so much so, He and his following were a very threat to the religious elite and the ruling empire. It landed him on a cross; an execution of criminal done with the states legal sanction. Is this what we embrace as a "Christian" nation? ( is that even a good idea? "christian nation") do we really sacrifice all of ourselves for the radical love of all people as Jesus did? or do we just want our "freedoms" to collect and consume whatever our hearts desire. we want our "right" to harm others in defense of what is ours, our possessions, our family, ect. (it seems the two are the same for most patriarchs). I guess this is what we wrestle with if we consider ourselves people of Christian faith. I hope this doesn't come off too preachy or self righteous; these are questions i ask to myself everyday, and plenty times fail. I choose safety in the name of wisdom over love of a stranger in the spirit of my Lord. I spend money on myself because i feel entitled to it rather than giving it to someone who is in need. so lets ask these questions together, believers or not, as fellow people. are we working towards a better tomorrow? i hope i am, which is why I follow the footsteps of Christ and try to put on this kings thorny crown called "compassion". As I'm sometimes overburdened with the thoughts of what that entails, I am always reminded of what Momma T said. "do small things with great love." Love and Peace! -Dylan