Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday's Art: The Depression Line

Depression Bread Line
George Segal, 1991
This sculpture by George Segal is in Washington D.C. and was erected as part of the FDR memorial. Five men cast in bronze, frozen forever in need, knowing they can't provide for their families without help. When we're hungry or sick or homeless, when we feel like God won't give us a way to  even feed our children, it's easy to doubt His love. According to the world, He doesn't love us. If we lived by the world's definition of love, we would only be loved when our bellies are full, and when we're safe and warm and happy and strong and breathing for as long as humanly possible. But the reality is very few people have all these things at once, even in these great United States as this sculpture memorializes.

This fact could mean either one of two things: God hates pretty much everyone, or His blessings reach past our physical needs. Christ was poor. He knew hunger, grief and physical pain, rejection and abandonment unto death, but He never doubted the love of His Father. Our faith is far less perfect, and so we doubt. But don't give in to that doubt so easily. God is with us in our need, even when those needs go unmet, because in truth, He's already given us all that we need. Our salvation.

So why memorialize something as depressing as a Depression bread line for posterity? Because instead of despising the fact that we need help, we ought to be thankful for the help that we have.

"And He said to His disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing."

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