The first piece planned for this album is going to be called Image of God. I'm not sure of the instrumentation yet, but I've been jotting down some musical ideas. The original inspiration behind this piece is the racial injustice prevalent in the United States today and the tremendous need for these problems to be addressed on both an individual and a systemic level. However, the "image of God" concept extends far beyond this country, and this piece can be a prayer anywhere and for anyone in the world facing oppression.
Two recent events are particularly significant in the passion behind this piece. The first is the blatant display of hatred and racism in Charlottesvile, the tragic death of Heather Heyer, and subsequent unsatisfying response from the current administration. The fact that white supremacy still exists unabashedly is shameful and baffling. My heart grieves for the loss of Heather Heyer and for the pain her friends and family now have to endure.
The other event is the president's decision to rescind DACA protections. This decision is a shameful decision, simply an attempt to win political points at the expense of 800,000 innocent people - 91% of which are employed and 100% of of which have a criminal record. I cannot begin to imagine what Dreamers must be experiencing right now. My attempt to imagine took the form of a poem I wrote when I heard the final decision:
Dreamers' brightness fades away;
aim for the stars they say
but now the world looks away
(or at least our leaders anyway)
while we look for a place to say.
No more dreams of flying high,
no more gazing toward the sky,
but look around and find some ground
some other ground where we can
safely chase the stars again.
As a Christian, the heart of God in this matter is clear:
You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. – Deuteronomy 10: 19
The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:34
And yet... even white supremacists were created in God's image. Reconciliation happens when both the oppressor and the oppressed see each other as truly created in the image of God.
But what does it even mean to be created in God's image? And what do we do about these things? More on that next week. :)