"Breathe” by Ranika Chaney

This year has been filled with so many events that . . . give pause, for lack of a better description. Yet it has also opened a freeway to frustration, anger, fear, anxiety and, well, fill in the blank. As a Christian, as an African American, and as an artist, I’ve watched black men being killed along with the rest of the world. I’ve heard the issues, concerns and bullet points raised by all sides. And even with all the chatter, opinions, facts, and lack-of-facts, I still had no words for the horrific events I saw across my screen. Instead, I rode a wave of numbness. The more the headlines flashed, the less I felt. And well, that’s where the artist and creative in me kicked in.

Creating art sometimes feels like speaking your native language. When prose and conversation run out, what’s left for me is poetry. When you are at a loss, I encourage you to run to your own heart language. Speak your heart language with a stroke of paint, with new depth in your dance, through the click of your shutter. But be sure to speak your native language to your Creator. After all, He gave you your heart language so that all languages would speak of Him. 

When words finally did surface, here’s what my heart language spoke:

"Breathe” by Ranika Chaney