"today you will be with me in paradise"
mixed media collage on stretched canvas (acrylic paint, found papers, glue)
8" x 10"
gregory a milinovich
here is my second in this year's lenten collage series. it corresponds with the series we are doing at catawissa avenue umc on the final words of Christ from the cross. this week we focused on his words to the criminal next to him: "today you will be with me in paradise." we talked about how Jesus liked to spend his time with broken people (or rather, people who knew they were broken); how we are all broken, and like the criminals on the crosses, have a variety of ways to respond to Jesus; and how Jesus' love so far surpasses our expectations and categories and prejudices. as exhibit A, the first person Jesus invites into paradise (literally: the king's garden), is a lestai, or armed robber, someone who used violence to rob another. he doesn't ask Jesus into his heart; he doesn't walk the romans road; he doesn't he doesn't stand to make a commitment or say he's sorry. he simply puts whatever hope he can muster from his deathbed (the cross he is being executed on) in the idea that Jesus might "remember" (deliver) him. and for Jesus, that's enough.
if i dare to believe that the king will welcome me into the garden, who am i to say someone else will be locked out?