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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Art to Encourage Syrian Children

Diana Brisly, Syrian artist now living in Beirut, sends encouragement to children in her home country. She explains, "You can put philosophy in a painting," and many of her pieces are featured in a surviving children's magazine, Zayton and Zaytona. The aim is to give children hope and help them hold to their dreams while living in a war zone and witnessing things that no one should ever have to face ( 

It is a natural thing to cover your child's eyes at the sight of something bad or frightening. We do it at the movies and should do it for all presentations of evil. The innocent mind full of natural wonder and love of play should not have ugly, violent, war pictures before their gaze every day, no have to bear the loss of loved family members or damage to their own bodies. Brisly is giving them her best in art; she is teaching and encouraging through paintings that people risk their lives and freedom to distribute. 

What can we give? What can we do to help? How can we reach a child in Syria's war zone right now to protect and give hope? Some of us may find ways to respond hands-on or in-person, but most of us need to respond metaphysically through extraordinarily powerful prayer that becomes practical even at such a distance to a multitude of young children to decrease violence before their eyes. Let's put the beautiful and meaningful paintings of divine Spirit and Love before their eyes instead. This requires seeing spiritually, a thing more difficult for the more mature and educated ming than for a child who embraces spirituality naturally.

Our effective prayer comes with seeing from God's eyes. See the Light of Love everywhere, gently embracing everything, filling all the space in Syria and all the space around each and every child there. See them surrounded in a gentle but impervious light -- the light that is God whose Word changes chaos to order, and senseless fighting and violence to peace, rest, calm, and joy. God is ever-present and "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (II Corinthians 3:17). 

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