10" x 20"
acrylic on canvas
Erin Stinson 2014
“We condemn a man for stumbling this morning, but we didn’t see the blows he took yesterday. We judge a woman for the limp in her walk, but cannot see the tack in her shoe. We mock the fear in their eyes, but have no idea how many stones they have ducked or darts they have dodged.
Are they too loud? Perhaps they fear being neglected again. Are they too timid? Perhaps they fear failing again. Too slow? Perhaps they fell the last time they hurried. You don’t know. Only one who has followed yesterday’s steps can be their judge.
Not only are we ignorant about yesterday, we are ignorant about tomorrow. Dare we judge a book while chapters are yet unwritten? Should we pass a verdict on a painting while the artist still holds the brush? How can you dismiss a soul until God’s work is complete?”
In The Grip of Grace – Max Lucado
Last night "Hope in the Art" marked the beginning of Homelessness Awareness Week. The event took place at the Keyano Art Gallery and was a flurry of creative energy and activity. I arrived to see quite the variety of work displayed on the walls, people connecting, others contemplating and creating, as well as a number of musicians performing.
With every art focused event I participate in I am amazed at the creativity and talent in our community - and how hungry our art community is for these opportunities to connect and collaborate. And as the event wrapped up my thoughts transitioned from the stigmatization of homelessness to the importance of community. When we have a place to belong, just as we are, it can make a world of difference. This goes for every last one of us, no matter the struggle, no matter the battles and baggage, no matter the triumphs and successes.
I am thankful to have been a part of "Hope" - it never ceases to amaze me how the arts can reach out and bring people together. And I am feeling particularly grateful today that I have experienced true "community" in my life - places and people that have accepted me as I am, forgiven my weaknesses and encouraged me to stay true to my unique self. We need to do that for one another and we rarely do. I feel both inspired and convicted.
Can you imagine a world where grace, patience and forgiveness ran freely?