Our trustee and volunteer, Bishop Mark, shares a reflection on worth, this Good Friday.
“In this 2005 painting by the American artist, Gwyneth Leech, Jesus is naked and stands with arms up, hands behind his head. He is threatened by dogs on leashes held by soldiers.This part of the picture is based on a photo from the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein. A soldier with his back to Jesus looks down at the red robe in his hands. The cross is being fixed into the ground in the background.
The artist shows Jesus being utterly humiliated. He is forced to stand naked in front of the soldiers. We can only imagine what they are saying to him and amongst themselves. He has already been beaten and dressed up as a mock king and this is the final and – with the dogs straining on their leashes – the most frightening of his humiliations.
I have lived with this picture now for a number of years, and as I look at it, particularly on Good Friday, I see how Jesus, the Son of God allows himself to be humiliated and frightened in this way, so that when I am humiliated and frightened I know that this is something God knows about.
Many of those whom Oasis Community Housing support have felt deeply humiliated at different moments in their lives, often from a very young age and they will often have been deeply frightened – even if they rarely, if ever, talk about it. Many of them still feel deeply humiliated at different times, whether it be by those in authority, family, partners or the general public.
At Oasis Community Housing, one of our values is worth. We say we believe everyone has worth. So we seek to treat everyone equally, respecting differences. We seek to stand with those who have been humiliated and frightened because we believe that Jesus does, and because our belief in the value of every human being says to us that nobody should be humiliated or frightened.”
Bishop Mark Bryant