“Our Shared Hope”

Alisa Clark

Alisa Clark, whose work is featured on the cover of this Reflections issue, is an artist, illustrator, teacher, and author who lives in Milford, Mich. She believes people can learn empathy and find a healing space for political action by sharing their stories. She worries that national habits and habitats of empathy are eroding.

“When people I love find out my (usually liberal) leanings, they lose their composure,” she says. “That’s a bad sign.”

Regarding the front cover art, “Joined Together,” she doesn’t consider it a portrait in idealism but a theological and pragmatic statement.

“Holding hands – that’s a potential answer,” says Clark, author of a memoir, Testimonies: The Power of Inspirational Christian Stories. “These days, an election means someone’s going to win and the other side will pitch a fit. But we can approach the result in a different way and say: Half of us aren’t happy, but it’s still possible to make America better together. We as a people don’t want children starving and going without opportunity. We have that in common: the desire to make our nation a better place for its children.”

Unity accomplishes something else, she says: a stronger, world-changing prayer front.

“I fear our joined prayers are weak today – not strong enough to even begin to reach the place where they can be heard. Still, I hold fast to the idea that we can join together. Imagine that somehow our prayers make a noise that reaches the heavens. The greater the sound, the more likely our petitions will reach the feet of God. ‘Joined Together’ is about our united prayers being strong enough to reach God’s ears. Nothing is required but the simple, peaceful act of holding hands and asking for help.

“This God I speak of is not just my God. He is everyone’s God. In my heart, He does not divide by ethnicity, faith, sex, social status, or political view. This God is our shared hope. Joined with Him, I imagine a world where our prayers are not silent. I hear a sound loud enough to change the world.”

See more at journeyoncanvas.com.