Seeking the “real” in the world around me is leading me in new paths. When asked by Rev. Erin, the Rector of my Parish, to assume a leadership role on the Vestry, I agreed. Even before this challenge, I knew that it was important to me to share with friends why my Christian faith would be an asset, not a limitation, in the coming days.
I feel so fortunate to belong to a faith family that sees me, values me and does not consider my spiritual struggles as any more or less weighty than their own. My little family has not always been so lucky, we have often been the objects of pity, concern or even fear when we try to find our place in a church. After moving to San Marcos, we realized that the Diocese of Texas was our best fit and now we travel back up the interstate each sunday to St. Alban’s, the sanctuary on the hill that overlooks Onion Creek.
We are discussing the topics for the Lenten series this year. Lent is a time of repentance and one thing that many of us are repenting today is that we do not love our neighbors as ourselves, especially if we do not even know who are neighbors are. The Muslims in Austin are our neighbors, the Sikhs in Austin are our neighbors, the Jews in Austin are our neighbors, just as the Samaritan was a neighbor to the Jew beaten by robbers in the parable of the Good Samaritan. We are living proximate but different lives in the same city.
Learning more about the reality of my neighbors could be a good part of this challenge. This point was brought home when I watched this inspiring video by a Sikh interfaith activist and filmmaker, Valarie Kaur. In this short video, Valarie uses the trust in divine protection that is a part of her faith to bring the interfaith crowd to their feet with rousing “amens”.
I saved this pattern for today because the house in this painting I made in 2015 reminds me of St. Alban, on the hill surrounded by juniper.
I wrote about this pattern on my studio blog, so go there for more versions of the pattern, but enjoy this one at least.