Profit By the Blood Image License (Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18)

Profit By the Blood Image License (Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18)

15.00

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD FOR ONE-TIME LICENSE

Interested in licensing a single image for worship or ministry use? This one-time license grants you permission to use this image for ministry purposes. Print the image as bulletin cover art or project the art and engage with it during worship, Sunday School, or Youth Group. We hope you might use our images as tools for spiritual formation.

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Profit By the Blood
By Anna Strickland
Digital painting
Inspired by Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18

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Order includes:

  • high-res image file

  • high-res colorable image file

  • A PDF of the Artist's statements & scripture reference for the visual

  • A visio divina Bible Study Guide for you to use this image in a group study session that incorporates the ancient Benedictine spiritual practice of "divine seeing."

Credit Info:

When printing and sharing online, please always include the following credits:
Artist's name | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org

From the Artist:

When we read this text, one phrase grabbed me and wouldn’t let go: “You shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor.” (v. 16) And yet, as a white American, I have profited my whole life from the blood of my neighbors, particularly my Black and Indigenous neighbors. 

In an exercise I once did in a seminary class, we collectively listed effects of racism (among other forms of discrimination) following the prompt “Because of racism, people of color experience…” Completing that sentence was the easy part. Once we had a list, incomplete as it was, the professor kept the list and replaced the prompt with “As a white person, I benefit when people of color experience…” The white students then took turns reading the list aloud.

As a white person, I benefit when people of color experience state-sanctioned violence.
As a white person, I benefit when people of color experience housing discrimination.
As a white person, I benefit when people of color experience generational cycles of poverty.

The list went on and on, becoming harder and harder to read. Just because we didn’t want the words to be true didn’t make it so. As a white person, I do profit by the blood of my neighbors, and I must repent of that every day. I must face the truth that my house is on stolen land. That my ancestors enslaved other people’s ancestors, as well as my own. That systems of oppression have loaded my dice at the expense of my neighbors. This is what it means to be privileged.

In this image, the buildings above, foundationless and hollow, rest on the palms of people of color below, weighing them down and yet dependent upon them for their existence just as our cities were built with the labor of enslaved people on indigenous land. The people by contrast have color and dimension, signs of their life and humanity. The blood-red sky above and watery depths below meet with the white skin tones of the buildings to evoke the American flag.

I keep praying for the day that America’s white leaders take on a confessional posture, admitting to and apologizing for the ways we have profited by the blood of our neighbors. Ignoring, burying, and denying the truth of our past - and our present - will only drive us further from the heart of God.

— Anna Strickland

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