Everyday I hear about someone or something being abandoned, dogs, cats, churches, refugees, yes, and even children. Is there any worse feeling than that of being abandoned? I don’t think so, at least not for me.
In Theaster Gates, March 2015 TED Talk above, you’ll hear a plan for making something out of close to nothing, of taking what others have abandoned and bringing it back to life. Many people are doing this today, but Gates adds one very important element, that of involving the people already living in that neighborhood, awakening in them hope.
James Martin, S.J. editor at large of America Magazine in his February 15 article titled My God, My God, tells of Jesus who took the raw materials of his time and place forming them into a literally history changing moment. Then on the cross, he cries, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani” My God, My God, why have you abandoned me (MK 15:33-34) Fr. Martin explains that while many think this was actually a prayer of hope and trust in the Father, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that Jesus truly did feel abandoned, just as we do at times. It’s this understanding of Jesus that draws me to him.
So what to do when we feel abandoned? We could:
- Follow Theaster Gates method of working were we find ourselves with the people and resources we find at our disposal.
- Learn to see with the eyes of Faith, albeit not an easy choice.
- Look for the beauty in simple gifts.