Radical Unraveling of Vocation
read // LUKE 19:1-10
from the artist // HANNAH GARRITY
Seeing, taking notice, acknowledging, lifting up—Jesus did all of these things as he looked up at Zacchaeus, calling him down, resting love and responsibility on his shoulders. I teach middle school art. I have spent this school year testing the waters. Each day I try a new collection of inputs for various situations. The most effective one is to stop in at every single student’s seat to have a personal conversation with them. In these conversations, I reiterate
the assignment, glean information about what the student plans to do, and answer any questions. The byproduct is positive productivity. Is it because I’ve shown that I care? Is it because I’ve clarified the expectations? Is it because I simply acknowledged their existence in the room? Is it because I saw them? Middle schoolers don’t realize that you can hear and see them from across the room. Their maturity level is simply not there yet. In this image, Jesus looks up with grace. A shimmer of gold on his skin represents the presence of God in him. He takes notice of a selfish, greedy, and immature adult. Zacchaeus’ actions make me think he did not mature much after middle school. By the standards of society, exhibited by the comments of those around him, this man does not deserve to be acknowledged. When he is finally seen, all of his immaturity melts away. He immediately rises to the occasion. Take notice, acknowledge, lift up. See.
Take a few moments to gaze upon the artwork. Breathe deeply in quiet meditation as you observe the visual qualities of what you see: color, line, texture, movement,
Now take a deeper look. What parts of the image are your eyes most drawn to? What parts of the image did you overlook?
Now engage your imagination. What story do you imagine for the figure?
- What has unraveled and/or is unraveling in this story?
- Why does Zacchaeus anticipate Jesus’ arrival? What converts his greed into radical generosity?
- Imagine Zacchaeus’ new vocation of generosity and compassion. What does he gain from this transformation? How are others impacted?
Unravel me from the ways I am entangled with systems of oppression and harm. Amen.