Art above by TG from Ontario.
Twice a year, we publish a collection of student artwork. This artwork is meant to inspire our students, and bring them comfort. Many of them express their growing faith in their poetry, and others use it as a way to work through the difficulties that prison brings. The students look forward to each booklet, and chaplains love handing them out as an icebreaker to potential students and curious non-believers.
At the beginning of each of our art booklets, Martie van Niekerk (our president) shares some of her thoughts on creativity and faith. Today, we’d like to share that letter and some art from the booklet with you.
These are trying times.
As I write this, we are in the first week of social distancing because of the 2019 novel coronavirus. Many of us have retreated to our homes, distancing ourselves from others to ensure the safety of our friends, family, and the elderly. Many people I know live in fear of quarantine — a total government lockdown.
Sadly, you already experience the feeling of being quarantined from society every day. In some small way, this is the closest many of us will come to understanding your experience.
I also know that many of you are concerned about what will happen to you if the coronavirus reaches your institution. We have heard that many of you are concerned about the close quarters you live in.
I do not know how things will have changed by the time you receive this art book, and I unfortunately do not have answers to any of your concerns.
But I want to reassure you: no matter how bad it seems, Jesus loves you. And God is still with you.
I believe God’s heart breaks when He sees human suffering. God came to earth as Jesus. He experienced everything life has to offer — including its sorrows. Our Creator understands our pain, and is with us in it. He feels it too — perhaps even more than we do.
In this time, I pray that you feel the peace of Jesus with you and the comfort of our Lord and God. I thank you for submitting your beautiful art and your wonderful poetry. I hope this letter finds you well, and our prayers at Crossroads are with you, your family, your friends, and those you are in community with at your institution.