THEIR PAIN IS OUR PROBLEM
As I sat watching a video about violence committed against women, I was
faced with a reality I already knew but chose to
ignore. Pictures were followed by numbers, photographs of little girls,
teenagers and adult women were followed by
statistics. Thousands upon thousands of women of all ages are target of
abuse, discrimination and violence around the world. I could no longer
remain indifferent. I knew this situation breaks God's heart just as much
as my coldness and complacency. I closed my eyes and still a bit hesitant,
asked Him to open my heart to His pain.
This painting originated in the vision that followed my prayer and
request. Women of all ages lie in different positions, victims of men's
abuse and cruel oppression. Baby girls are aborted just because their
gender was perceived as worthless or inconvenient in the eyes of their
parents. Little girls are killed because they are born
in a society which believes they were born with the wrong gender.
Some are sold to be used as prostitutes while other girls their age play
with dolls, make mud pies and lay peacefully on their father's lap in
peaceful evenings somewhere else in the world.
When I painted the raped woman in the center, I almost could not continue
painting, my eyes were flooded, my sight blurred by unceasing tears. I
could not bear to think of the pain and humiliation my brush was
unveiling. It was a painful task. As I completed her wounded body, my
heart was forever changed. The vision continued, in my heart's eyes, other
women in the back echoed more of the pain, fear, abandonment and abuse
they experience daily. In the fading background, men watch these women's
torment. Indifferent, cowardly covering their eyes, their ears, their
heart... One of them even uses a Bible to block
the revolting sight.
I knew I had to paint myself. As I painted the face of a man turning his
face away from the women's pain, I was representing my heart's former
attitude, recognizing that there are many other men unjustly indifferent
like I was. It was a sober and convicting act.
One man stand blindfolded, mouth covered and hands tighten on his back. He
allowed society to dictate his heart, incapacitating him to be God's cry
for justice. Finally, a woman stands at the far right, turning her back to
her own gender; Maybe afraid, maybe indifferent, maybe cold as she allowed
hate and ignorance rob her the hope love and compassion offers.
I was motivated to do this painting in the hopes that we would be visually
reminded that women are created in the image of God. They reflect
something of His glory that is unique to them and that we must honor and
respect. I pray that we will be challenged to change our indifference into
a just and courageous determination to defend this truth making their pain