In Lent last year, I joined friends who used Twitter to post a picture every day. They shared a common collection of words based on the readings of the Lenten lessons. So every day, each of us posted an image from our lives or surroundings based on the word of the day. At first I thought it was a little impersonal to think of my Lenten discipline as learning to use Twitter, but as it turned out, carrying a word in my mind and heart each day that came from Biblical readings, did remind me what the season of repentance and meditation was all about. For an artist like me, finding an image is much more heart-work than reading or writing something.
My friend Katy, who works on the Bishop’s staff in the Northern California part of the ELCA, has posted Advent Words of the Day for this season of waiting and watching before Christmas, and I am in again, posting a picture each day. I post them on Twitter and Instagram and also on my personal FaceBook page, but I thought I might also post them here with a few words about what connects the images to Biblical or religious themes.
November 30, Clouds
This is a picture of Jerusalem taken from the Mount of Olives. We walked down the path thought to be the way of Jesus on Palm Sunday. At this spot on the way, the view of the city is breathtaking, and tradition says this is the spot at which Jesus wept over the city. He cried because people had rejected God’s prophets in the past, those who called them back to being God’s people by feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, supporting the helpless and homeless. Jesus also called people back to their purpose as God’s people, but in the process offended his church and its leadership, who were invested more in the “church business” than in being God’s emissaries of love and care in the world. I was privileged to take this picture and see this view for myself in June of 2014 on a trip to the Holy Land to accompany Christians in their struggle to be a non-violent voice for peace in an area torn by age-old and modern conflicts. These clouds over Jerusalem sum up much of my hope for the people I met and have come to hold in my heart.