Enter into worship this Sunday at 10:00am in-person or online.
Readings: Isaiah 40:-11 † Psalm 69:30-36 † Luke 1:24-45
About the Art: Two Mothers, Nicolette Peñaranda. Acrylic, ink, and mixed media collage on canvas. Inspired by Luke 1:24-45. From Sanctified Art (sanctifiedart.org). Used by permission.
From the artist:
A couple of months before I took on this project, I was forced into early labor and birthed our second child. Needless to say, I was still pretty raw with emotions and was processing the trauma. During that time, I found myself in isolation. Our days were spent driving back and forth to the NICU to check on our 3 lb. infant. It was terrifying and tiresome.
But during that time, so many wonderful people sought us out. We were gifted food, baby clothes, childcare, and rest. But the greatest gift was the comfort I received from other people who had given birth. There was this sacred sharing of birth stories and postpartum depression.
Parents passed on beautiful garments that they, too, received after birthing a preemie. Some of these pieces looked like they had been passed down many times before, like each thread held a memory from a different family. We were connected.
It is because of this connection that parents share that I felt instantly connected to paying homage to Frida Kahlo’sTwo Fridas. Rather than being connected from veins of the heart, Mary and Elizabeth would be connected through the uterus.
Nearly a quarter of Black women between ages 18 and 30 have fibroids while also being the racial demographic with the highest maternal death rate in the United States. More than 100,000 women undergo some form of mastectomy each year. Globally, an estimated 14% of girls give birth before the age of 18. Where do these realities meet the heart of scripture? How do we see the struggles of infertility or empathize with the vulnerability that comes with not being a socially-accepted pregnant person?
While Elizabeth is crowned with holy gray hair and a dress marked with the blood of previous miscarriages, Mary sits next to her holding a childhood doll, draped in the jewelry, flowers, and silks of a traditional Middle Eastern Jewish bride. Their stories and experiences are vastly different. But Mary sought out her kin. This reminds me that we do not need to do the hard things alone. There is power in connection.
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