During this season of Lent we have been visually inspired by Sylvia’s newest piece, hanging in the midst of our sanctuary at First United Methodist Church, Waynesville. Entitled “Yet, We Live,” it seems to grow out of the whitened, ash-like branches of a tree known as a contorted filbert. An overlay of netting contains a series of crosses against the purple tones of the silk fabric.
In her description, Sylvia pointed out that “On Ash Wednesday we are marked with ashes and reminded that we are made of dust, and will return to dust. The purple silk hanging over the altar table, with its shadows of crosses and dry branches, reminds us that we walk Christ’s passion road through Lent and Holy Week. Lest we succumb to despair as we annually rehearse this cycle of life and death, we also remember the promise of new life as we await the breakthrough of light and renewal on Easter.”
This is a time when we place our own dark shadows and struggles within the larger drama in which the very Creator of all life struggles with us and indeed bears with us the signs of our own dying as well as the hope and intimations of the deeper life from which we spring and to which we return. We are especially aware that we walk this dying way with a planet that is struggling to stay in harmony with the system of life in which we humans have emerged. All around us are the forces of fear and violence that would extinguish this life for the sake of a vain and transient self-glorification. But the God of all returns again and again to whisper and reveal, “yet shall you live.”