9 Cowen Harter – Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

Luke 23:27-31
27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[a]31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

By the time I got around to signing up for a station, there were only two left. So I selected this one. I was not at all certain how to feel about this passage. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! #MeToo. My reaction was physical and intense. I imagined branding this station with #MeToo and then, I froze. I really didn’t want to make a political statement through my station, so, I sat for weeks just pondering.

Eventually, I found the image I wanted to create and began the process of blocking the scene on the canvas. Channeling Nancy Dusenberry who blocks her canvas with yellow ochre oil paint, I found a color pencil, as close to yellow ochre as I could find, and began marking up my canvas. When it came time to apply paint, I stopped myself. Remembering a station I did three years ago, I started to collage Jesus’ robe with newspaper then eventually applied the purple paint. Like my prior station, his robed was completed with the verse of John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Since the beginning, Jesus has been with us. He, like the Daughters of Jerusalem, keenly understands the social and political forces in our world and was crucified for railing against them. Whether I like it or not, my station makes a political statement. When Jesus met the Daughters of Jerusalem, I believe that in that moment he connected with them with the knowledge of what they were experiencing and how they were experiencing life from day to day. Today, I believe Jesus feels our pain of sexual harassment in the workforce, being passed over for a promotion because we are a woman, not earning equal pay, child prostitution, and the list goes on. We should cry for ourselves and for our children. Our tears may be just what it takes to spark a change.

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