Here I am with my friend Roy, who I ran into on the streets of Victoria BC last summer. Serendipity (defined as "luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for)! Roy used to work with me until he retired in 2015. I still haven't quite recovered from his departure as he has left a hole in my work life. He was my creative hive mind in one. Any time I needed out-of-the-box brainstorming ideas, Roy would be the first one I'd call. I wrote about my history with Roy back when he retired in 2015. I think of him as my Zen Catholic friend.
Today I wanted to feature Roy because he is a naturalized immigrant from the Philippines, so his home country and his adopted country are both in turmoil right now. I remember speaking to Roy before the election in the Philippines and hearing his fear about the potential election of the brutal Duterte. At the time neither of us thought that Trump would be elected. Sadly, both countries find themselves in a scary mess for different reasons.
Roy has been chronicling his thoughts and feelings in art for many years, and a few years ago he began sharing his painted vignettes from visits to Starbucks on Facebook. Many of these paintings were accompanied by beautiful words as well, like this one:Or this one:
Since the election, Roy has particularly focused his painting and sketching on those in the margins, like refugees and immigrants. He is a man of pure hospitality and kindness and makes friends wherever he goes.
"This is YOUR beloved child -
With whom I am well pleased.
Listen to them."
(Reference photo from http://www.bbc.com/news/
showing 5-yr old Omran Daqneesh after he was rescued from a destroyed building after an air strike in Aleppo.)
|As soon as I saw this South Asian mother and child crossing the Bothell Bridge, |
it reminded me of migrants and refugees trying to get to a bridge leading to freedom from political persecution,
from violence, hunger and poverty, due to their government's corruption and war.
And on the domestic front, those who are looking for affordable health and dental care,
employment, affordable housing, or compassionate and safe space for the night.
"When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.
The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself,
for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God." ~ Leviticus
May every being's night be relaxing and sleep restorative.
Roy is taking a Facebook break during Holy Week, but I'm sure he's still sketching and painting! He has garnered a strong following on his Facebook page. as many of us are inspired by his art and words. We should all be this productive, compassionate, and loving in retirement!
I feel extremely fortunate to know this compassionate and loving artist and writer. Roy, in his own image and words:
And a few other random Roy artworks at the end of this post.
Read all my Lenten challenge posts here.