A long-time favorite author of mine, Brian Zahnd, is releasing a really important book soon, and I have had the immense honor of designing the cover! The book is called Postcards from Babylon: The Church in American Exile, and it is set to release in January 2019. Stay tuned for more details and fun stuff like a giveaways :)
Another piece in my icon series is complete. Gandhi's life, words, and wisdom are truly a valuable and needed gift to humanity. Ironically, a stigma is placed on Gandhi in some Christian circles, which deeply grieves me. Gandhi was deeply influenced by Jesus and devoted to embodying His way of being in the world...so much so that he adopted a daily practice of reading the Sermon on the Mount and has written that, "Jesus was the most active resister known perhaps to history. This was non-violence par excellence" (Gandhi on Nonviolence, p. 55). Though Gandhi claimed no one particular religion solely as his, I wonder if in many ways––especially in terms of nonviolent resistance, peacemaking, care for the poor, communal unity and equality, renouncing of empire and worldly power, and the study/embodying of Jesus' words and practice––if Gandhi looked more like a Jesus-follower in the world than many of us modern-day Christians do. At the very least, I see value rather than danger in learning his story and hope that more folks might come to share that perspective as well.
What you see in the illustrated icon:
- Gandhi pictured in the white, homespun cloth that eventually became the only clothing that he wore (and made for himself) as part of a protest to British rule in India in which he encouraged the Indian people to wear no foreign textiles.
- His hands in the namaste position with which he consistently greeted others. Namaste literally translates as "I bow to you." It is also rumored that when Albert Einstein asked Gandhi what exactly his greeting meant, he explained it as follows: “I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth, peace and wisdom. I honor the place in you where, when you are in that place, and I am in that place, there is only one of us.”
- Waves of salt water in the background that symbolize the water of the Arabian Sea where Gandhi led people in the Salt March of 1930. This was an active, nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India and an essential part of the revolution that led to independence for India being granted in 1947.
If you're unfamiliar with Ghandi or just curious to learn more, here are a few good places to do that:
In honor of Dr. King's courageous and invaluable contributions to our society and as a personal commitment to continuing the work of realizing his dreams for our lives, I made this new graphic icon to share with you today.
Also, below is a far-too-small collection of Dr. King's words in hopes that we might reflect on them honestly today. And that in our reflection, we might be moved to act in some way. Maybe this year more than many in our recent history, I think it is clear that we have a long way to go in making Dr. King's dreams a reality. So may we be challenged and emboldened by his example, and may we be the "creative, dedicated" ones who help this hurting world to get better, little by little...
I've been thinking a lot about Mary & Joseph this Christmas. About what it might have been like to pause in their journey...with so much behind them & still so much ahead of them...to celebrate a moment so special, yet surely still so difficult. To see & embody a fulfilled promise like that, while undoubtedly full also of questions about what was actually happening. Weary and tired from travel and labor.
I'm realizing that Christmas is indeed a time of both weariness and joy, while people feel one or the other of those realities more fully on any given year. We are a weary world, and we have reason to rejoice.
Here's to remembering we're not alone in our weariness, and to taking time today to choose joy & gratitude where we can.
Merry Christmas, friends. Peace.
I had the distinct privilege of working with one of my favorite artists recently to design the album artwork for his new Christmas EP. Matt Kidd recently released December Cinema, Vol. 1, a beautiful ambient-instrumental collection of 5 traditional Christmas songs:
- The First Noel
- Oh Come, Emmanuel
- What Child is This?
- God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
- Silent Night
Get yourself a little Christmas present and add some new tracks to your holiday playlist this week? Matt was wonderful to work with, and I'd love for you to both support him and get to appreciate these songs.