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JustChurch is the ministering community of Beloved Community Initiative

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Lent Week Four - Prodigal grace


About the Art and Artist

Inexplicable Joy

by Hannah Garrity

Inspired by Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Paper lace

Full to the brim with joy. An existential crisis, like the last two years of the COVID pandemic, helps us all to appreciate the joy with which the father of the prodigal son celebrates.

This image depicts the joyful motion of a party, the lights in particular. The lines in this stained glass window design are inspired by photographs of light glowing and moving, dancing in the night. In the center circle, the shadow of a dancing silhouette repeats, echoing the way that we see figures move in two dimensions in the light of the night. In the corners of the window frame, architectural motifs that historically represent the Holy Trinity reflect the light as though shining themselves.

Thinking about an expansive Lent as I worked on this paper lace, this image became all about joy. Joy that is misunderstood. Joy as an act of resistance. Inexplicable joy. In an expansive understanding, the joy that the father is experiencing makes sense. He shows an uncharacteristic willingness to celebrate inexplicably with joy.

How can we notice and give grace to those who are experiencing inexplicable joy—particularly when it is an act of resistance? Where can we enter into their joy? Where in our own lives can we celebrate despite the incongruence of joy and pain, joy and discord, joy and anger?

—Hannah Garrity

Hannah Garrity

Hannah (she/her) is an artist and an athlete, a daughter and a mother,

a facilitator and a producer, a leader and a teammate. She is an art

teacher at a middle school in Richmond, VA, a Sunday school visual

choir facilitator at Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA, an

art in worship workshop leader wherever she is called, and a liturgical

installation artist at the Montreat Conference Center, Montreat, NC.

Art courtesy of A Sanctified Art: sanctifiedart.org

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