December 2014, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper
I drew this picture out my frustration of living somewhere between Western culture and Kingdom culture.
I know Western culture because I was born into it and raised by it. It is my reality. But it’s also an illusion. It teaches me lies. It tells me that things like wealth, education, power, appearance, and fame are what matter most in life. It tells me that a person’s worth is based on these things and that it’s okay to put barriers around people because of them.
Kingdom culture tells me there is a different way. It is an upside-down and back-to-front way where the first are last, leaders are servants, the wise are foolish, and love trumps all. I’ve glimpsed this kingdom way and it is beautiful. They are glimpses of a different truer reality; they are glimpses of heaven. But because I live on earth, heaven seems like an illusion.
When I drew this I felt like I’d woken from a dream only to find I was still in a dream, but everyone thought this was reality. I felt trapped between see-through walls where I could see both worlds but I couldn’t fully live in either of them.
In the words of the writer Jeff Goins, I felt ‘wrecked.’ I felt stuck not knowing how to live Kingdom culture in my Western context. I heard this great quote that went something like this: when you taste heaven you’re ruined for anything else.
Sometimes it’s confusing and painful living in the in-between but that’s what I’m learning to do. I’m learning to be okay with the tension in the in-between because this is where I’m meant to be as a learner of Christ, helping him bring heaven to earth.