"lent 2014: i thirst"
mixed media collage on stretched canvas
acrylic paint, pages from a bible, marker, glue
8" x 10"
gregory a. milinovich
here is the latest effort to result from my lenten discipline this year. as in recent years, i committed to making something rather than giving something up during lent, and it happens to be that i am making a collage each week to correspond with each of the seven last sayings of Christ (which also happens to be what our sermon series is at catawissa avenue umc). it is, of course, extra work for me during lent, but it is good for my spirit to carve out some space (time) each week for this form of expression. i have to make it part of my to-do list, but once i'm there, in my art room, with paint all over my hands and glue all over everything, with limitless possibilities, i'm filled with peace.
this week, i did something very different for me....i painted! i mean, i often use paint in my work, but usually in an abstract way. for this particular saying, i wanted something simple that conveyed the idea i was looking for, and i wasn't figuring out how to do it with bits of paper. so i decided to try and and paint an empty glass. it is one of our glasses, from our house. i am not overly pleased with the way it turned out, but at least you can tell what it is!
in worship we discusses some various possibilities for what Jesus might have been saying when he said, "i thirst," including the most obvious one: he was simply thirsty. but he also may have been referring to psalm 22, or 69, both of which are referenced in this collage. or, he may have been referring to something he commonly talked about: his cup of suffering. several times in the stories about his life, his biographers have him talking about his cup of suffering, including that famous scene in the garden when he is sweating blood about his impending crucifixion, and he nearly begs God to take this cup from him. but on the cross, when all the suffering is finally about to end, he cries out, "i thirst." was he simply thirsty? or was he indicating that his cup of suffering had finally been drained? it is, at least, an interesting question.
regardless, though, there are many who are still thirsting all around us everyday. neighbors and coworkers. people walking down the street. people waiting with us in the waiting room. in line. in traffic. everywhere. and they are dying of thirst. Jesus had talked about this, too, when he said that when you offer a drink to one of these thirsty people, you are actually offering a drink to him. that's how it works. physically and spiritually. we are called to be thirst-quenchers: to offer real, clean, fresh water to those who don't have it, and to show that there is a living water that flows from a deeper well. that water fills your soul and truly quenches your truest, deepest thirst.
jesus is thirsty. in the faces of your day. how will you offer him a drink?