“This is Something I Had to Go Through”
Sculpture by James Davis.
On a recent visit to Atlanta, our sons introduced us to the Atlanta Beltline, a new walking path that circles much of the downtown area. The Beltline replaces an old railway track and now connects neighborhoods, parks, businesses, restaurants, and shops. We found interesting artwork along the route, and this particular sculpture caught our attention. The artist’s purpose was posted on a sign near the sculpture:
“This sculpture is about a particular moment in the artist’s life that he was afraid of. Universally, as humans we are all faced with challenges, adversity and fear. Once on the other side of a challenging situation, there can be clarity and the ability to see these moments as a positive that helped you discover the ability to move through. The piece encourages the viewer to stand where the artist stood but the moment is not defined by the artist. The viewer will bring their own moments they had to go through and no matter the differences between them, a connection is made.” ~ From Art on the Atlanta Beltline
The sculpture inspired several comforting thoughts…
The thick wall depicts our fears quite well. When we’re faced with a challenge, our fears increase because of the uncertainties, the unknown future before us. While the wall remains unbroken, we can’t see through our challenge to know what lies beyond. We also can’t determine how thick the wall is, to know how long or difficult the challenging time will be. We can only answer these unknowns by going through the wall of the challenge itself.
I love that the sculpture shows the struggle but not the struggler. James Davis intentionally does not define the moment, leaving each of us to consider our own challenges as we observe and reflect. I find the sculpture inviting us to ask, “As we face our own challenges, what do we have in the space that is us?”
We can be encouraged that “the space that is us” is equipped for such times. The space that is us contains the experiences and insights gained while journeying to this point, as well as unique strengths and abilities that will help us endure. The space that is us has been loved and mentored by people who will now cheer us on. Most of all, the space that is us holds God, who will equip, guide, comfort, and strengthen us as we enter every wall before us.
Finally, the sculpture reveals that in every challenge, the space that is us will remain for others who will one day face a similar wall. The space we have opened while working our way through adversity may not fully accommodate the next person, but it can offer some insight about the substance and duration of the challenge. Our unique space can provide a glimpse of the other side and offer some light for the journey. This space can instill courage and hope as others see that someone has gone before and made it through.
Our challenging experiences in life can transform us as we learn, trust, persevere, endure, and overcome.
Our challenging experiences in life can unite us with others as we – upon reaching the other side – help the next person through.
Universally, as humans we are all faced with challenges, adversity and fear… No matter the differences between them, a connection is made.”
Thank you, James Davis.
(Photo by Karen, Atlanta GA)
Cancer’s not adversity
and death is not a fear,
but right now there is certainty
that I need a beer.
I used to think this had to be
a drama for the ages,
but in time I have come to see
that these days are just pages
that are turned idly by a breeze
that blows and then moves on
to wherever it may please,
but the point is that it’s gone,
and what I thought iconic strife
is in the end just part of life.
I truly don’t have the expressive writing abilities as you but my one word response to this response to this one…..Exactly!!!!!!!!!! Since adulthood, for me it’s been my space to receive insight, guidance & knowledge, then walk through that space and pray to gently and lovingly pass it forward some day.
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Thank you, k, and may you know that your words are both insightful and well-written! And I am blessed that through our friendship, I have seen this lived out in you. Thank you.