Epiphany by Janet McKenzie

What We See Colors Our Worldview

It was 2004 after my initial journey to West Africa that I was first exposed to Janet McKenzie’s multicultural art. It took me being a minority to feel the cognitive dissonance and realize how prevalent and out of place European art was in churches I visited in Ghana and Nigeria.

Here’s the thing. It only bothered me after I literally put myself into the shoes of the people around me and saw how narrow a perspective is reflected as Jesus in all his whiteness hangs on the crucifix when every person in the community is black.

The stark reality is that, as a white American woman, I stood out. As a child, I learned I was made in the image and likeness of God. Everything I saw reinforced that MY God was white and male… UNTIL I was exposed to a broader and deeper perspective. Travel accelerates shifts in one’s point of view.

The image above is “Epiphany” by Janet McKenzie (used with permission of the artist). In Holiness and the Feminine Spirit: the Art of Janet McKenzie, Katharine Jeffers Schori explains, “Epiphany is usually framed as ‘revelation to the nations,’ so that the good news of God in human flesh is available to all the peoples of this earth, not only the nation in which Jesus was born. The traditional way of understanding the wise ones who come to pay homage to the baby born in Bethlehem is that there must have been three, for three gifts are named, but also that they represented the known regions of the ancient world: Africa, Asia, and Europe…(Janet McKenzie) invites us into yet another awareness of what it means that Jesus is born for the whole world. All of humanity is represented in these figures: yes, women! (by whom we all come into the world)…This is about the ancient wisdom and ministry of women caring for other women as new life is brought into the world.”

Our worldview colors what we see. Katharine Jeffers Schori poses a question that each of us might ask ourselves today, Where do we meet and acknowledge and bless God in our midst? That is the largest challenge Epiphany presents. It seems most often to be about finding God in the unexpected and surprising.” 

What has to happen for us to be the wise men and wise women of our day?


Jefferts Schori, Katharine. “Epiphany.” Holiness and the Feminine Spirit: The Art of Janet McKenzie. Ed. Susan Perry. New York: Orbis Books, 2009. 46-50. Print.

Half Empty? Half Full?

Half Empty? Half Full?

How do you look at the world?

Yesterday I was downloading video into i-Movie when the onscreen message said there’s not enough space left to store the file.

“Really?” I thought. I checked the capacity and discovered more than half the space on my hard drive was movie files. Yikes! I had less than 1 GB free.

“There must be a way to reorganize, clean up, and realize more space,” I reasoned.

…and then it struck me…my desire to “find more space” IS how I interact with the world.

Implicit is the underlying belief “I’m not good enough.”

“How can that be?” I wondered. “I’ve been wrestling the scarcity gremlin for years.”

“I’ve invested in my personal growth. I partner with a coach… and although most of the time I see the glass as half full, the rest of the time I’m looking to supersize the glass so it can hold more.”

These days I see the pattern everywhere. That’s one sign that it really is time to move out of my comfort zone and change habits, rather than just moving stuff around.