Friday, May 17, 2013

Freedom Riders Found A Home

Remember a few posts back, that painting I held the brush on about the Freedom Riders of the civil rights movement? Well, our family is currently 2 weeks out from moving from our current home in Birmingham, AL to Albuquerque, NM.  As we pack up, I felt strongly that this painting did not need to move with us.  It needed to stay in Alabama. It's supposed to be a reminder of both the story of the freedom riders as well as the hope for a better future. But i had no idea where it should go. After a few unsuccessful efforts of my own to find it a home, I decided to do what i should've started with- Pray. Pray that God would find a place for it. God decided to work thru a new but faithful God-listener of a friend, Heather. Unbeknownst to me, God had convicted her to help find a home for this painting she had seen once in my garage. She hooked me up with the SPLC.
Today, my painting is in the possession of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama! 

In a truly humbling "field" trip, Heather and I packed up our kids & headed to  her hometown of Montgomery, AL.

The SPLC's Civil Rights Memorial Center. 

This striking & interactive  fountain designed by same designer, Maya Lin, as the Vietnam Veterans memorial in DC. Dash and I are reading some  important dates of civil rights movement off of the fountain.

One of my favorite parts of the whole day! Hands down!
 I was presenting the Director, Lecia Brooks, of the Civil Rights Memorial Center with the painting and Dash spoke up. He starting explaining to her what the painting meant. The more she asked him questions about it, the more my heart swelled with pride.  He knew. He understood. He explained why there was a bloody hand as a part of the flag- that it represented the people who had died fighting for the freedom of others. He knew. He explained that the faces on the bus weren't just black or white or just men or women. That both black and white and men and women fought (& can continue to fight today) for justice. He explained how the portraying of a future hope of integration and peace was not only for the future on this world. He pointed to the cobbled street of gold and said, "That is the golden streets of heaven". He knows. Such a proud Mama moment. 
Moses, beamed shyly when Lecia asked about the angel (bottom left corner). A year earlier he had been the one to inspire me in drawing an angel in the painting. Here's him with one of his angels.

I feel honored & excited. I'm sure God has found a home for it much better than i would have. 
On the way home that day, my 4 yr old daughter, Elle said, "Mama wherever they hang your painting, I hope God teaches people with it." Talk about out of the mouth of babes.

I hope that we can one day See " Justice flow like a river & righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." -MLK & Amos (5:24)
And I hope that our children will grow, following Jesus as they live out peace, justice, mercy and brotherly love in this world.