Without my knowledge, our city's mayor was behind me taking pictures as the painting developed. Bishop Greene wondered if the mayor would like to receive the painting as a gift, and indeed she replied she would be honored. She said she would hang it in her office. I am the one who is honored!
Incidentally, this concert took place just before the terrible nightclub shooting in Orlando. So that Sunday morning, our city's flags flew at half mast, and continued to for what seemed like months with the later ensuing shootings across the country over the course of the summer. I couldn't help making the comparison between such a night where love and safety was felt in one city, and a night where hatred and fear was felt in another city. What happened in Orlando could easily have happened to us, and I'm sure many citizens everywhere think about that. Our city's public concert didn't make national news, but it was a night to remember for those of us who were there, and perhaps nights like this do have a lasting spiritual and emotional impact on a place, just as the opposite is true. I hope this painting will be a blessing to our city's Mayor. I'm praying for our world to reject hatred and fear, and choose instead to embrace care, love, and unity.
Thank you to Bishop Brian Greene for the opportunity to participate, to my church friends for transporting all my gear, and to Karanda Bowman for the pictures here.
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