Justice for All

A little over a week ago, my seventy-seven-year-old father died unexpectedly. Although I can’t describe exactly how I am feeling, I’ve had the strongest desire to draw or paint or create something. Anything. I wonder why that is.

I also wonder what we’re going to do with the stack of beautiful cards sent to us, each filled with messages of hope and calls for God’s peace.

My first thought was to make a collage over which we’d paint some meaningful text. Like much of our grief, though, it felt a little too personal. Perhaps a little too self-focused, especially for use in public worship.

But pain and death and injustice are universal, and to ignore them in worship is to ignore the mess we humans made for ourselves—and the cleanup God provides free of charge.

Borrowing the Look of Sidewalk Posters

This justice-focused design would be perfect for youth groups or intergenerational groups to make. Construction is fairly simple, and there is lots of room for error:

  • Cut a 4 x 8 foot (1.2 m x 2.4 m) sheet of 1/4 inch (.6 cm) smooth plywood down to 3.5 x 8 feet
    (1 m x 2.4 m).
  • Photocopy news photos or make black-and-white prints of images of injustice found on the Internet. Before jumping into the construction, take some time to talk together about the pictures and what they represent.
  • Use spray adhesive to attach the photos to the board temporarily. Once in position, brush decoupage medium across the images to firmly adhere them and to create a smooth surface.
  • Once dry, use a rough brush to apply a semi-transparent coat of thinned white paint over all to lighten the collage slightly. This will help make the letters stand out clearly. Don’t mind if brush strokes remain.
  • Print out the lettering stencil pattern from www.reformedworship.org and cut interiors out to make stencils.
    Download pattern here.
  • Place the stencils, then spray bright red spray paint over them to boldly proclaim the text from Micah 6:8. Again, don’t be too fussy about lining up the letters and words.
  • Finish board with frame of 1-inch boards painted black.

If you have the time and the space, consider creating three boards with two words each. Display by leaning against the wall rather than hanging.

Dean Heetderks is a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Cutlerville, Michigan, and art director of Reformed Worship. Show and tell him about your experiences at dean.heetderks@gmail.com.

Reformed Worship 95 © March 2010, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.