Our arts team at VOX has prepared and visual expression of our theme for Easter, "The Reality of Suffering and Hope.  Below, we have written a piece for you to consider as see the installation on our stage Sunday mornings and on Easter Sunday. Enjoy the reading below.



Last summer, I watched Yosemite burn. I was so close, I could feel the heat on my face. It was crazy and scary, but it was also on purpose. 

Not long ago, national forests began putting out wildfires and the forests began to die. Without fire, pinecones don't explode sending seeds flying, planting new life. The brush grows thick; covering and suffocating the earth. So now, fires are set on purpose to bring life. 

When VOX asked the creative team to come up with an arts piece that was the reality of suffering and hope. There was no better picture of this than a burnt tree. When we look at burnt forests, we see skinny black sticks pointing up to the sky. A ground, dark and scorched. 

This is the reality of suffering. It is real. It hurts. It changes us. 

But we have to remember that there is life in there. The roots are still working, looking for water, searching for life. The earth is dark, but breathing and being refreshed. There are seeds scattered around starting to root. 

Our original concept was a big scorched tree with a little blossom - representing the hope of Jesus. Even in these awful times there is life in us, waiting to bloom. Then we realized that doesn't do justice to who Jesus really is. The hope that he really holds. So we decided on a big, bright, crazy, uncontrollable design sitting right behind the tree. This is the power of Jesus. When we are in the midst of being scorched, in the middle of being hurt, he is there. Right behind us, big and beautiful. 

It doesn't make the fire less hot. It doesn't make the destruction any less, but He is the big huge bright hope reminding us that there is still life inside of us. We may stay in a dark place for a while, but we will grow. It may take time, but sooner or later we will see a blossom.

- Liz Hetzel

Volunteer Art Director at VOX Community