Earlier today I was pondering the brokenness of humanity and was reminded of a piece of artwork I saw while traveling to Halifax, Nova Scotia last year on the Georgia Harkness Scholars trip. The following is a brief reflection I wrote for the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry website upon my return.
The trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the Georgia Harkness Scholars offered an incredible opportunity to meet with, learn from, and collaborate with other women in ministry in the United States and Canada. Although most of the scholars had not previously met, when we all converged at the airport in Halifax, the members of the group immediately connected, talking and sharing stories. These conversations continued throughout our time together and formed a foundation for relationships that have extended beyond Halifax.
In Halifax, we met with women from a variety of ministry contexts: seminary students and faculty at the Atlantic School of Theology; clergywomen in local congregations; bishops and other wider church leaders; and two local artists – a visual artist and a filmmaker. These encounters were invaluable, each adding beauty to the mosaic of our individual and collective journeys.
Regina Coupar, artist in residence at the Atlantic School of Theology, integrates theology and art. She told us that our theology underlies everything we do, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. When showing us pieces of her collection, she relayed the story of creating one of her mosaics that cracked when placed in the kiln. Relating this piece to the works of Leonard Cohen, it is entitled, “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” This piece resonated deep within me, recognizing that all humans are broken people in need of God’s grace. Often it is through our broken places that we connect most intimately with others and the Divine.
What an amazing gift to travel to Halifax. The relationships established there are far-reaching and indicative of the connectional nature of the global church. I am grateful to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for this amazing opportunity.
I love this mosaic! The light does indeed shine through our broken places. A good reminder on which to reflect. Until next time, peace …