I am just an average person living an average life. What do I mean by that? I’m truly not putting myself down and I’m not saying I’m actually average in my lifestyle. I’m saying I am one of thousands of people who simply go unseen outside my most immediate spheres of social activity. That is pretty typical for most of us.
I started out in life wanting to be fearless. That changed as I was taught to be fearful. That fearful thing is now changing back into becoming fearless again. I wanted to be a number of things when I grew up none of which was called being a Christian. I found myself encountering God when I was fairly young. I accepted Christ in my middle school years but it was a bit overlooked by the pastor who seemed to be targeting my mother for salvation. At any rate, I finally made it real in my mid-twenties by being baptized. I had spent those middle school years onward running in frustration away from the monolithic thing called church and that eventually leaked out on God. All I can say is, Christianity really turned me off.
It took me a little bit of time to figure out Christianity is not necessarily synonymous with the Kingdom of God. Startling to some Christians as that may sound I found focusing on being a Christian was not exactly the same thing as focusing on Jesus. I got caught up in rules and liberty that I didn’t understand. And believe you me, it is easy to follow a Christian theological fad. I did. I don’t now, but I certainly did in my past.
I’ve had a number of career paths but largely the same foundation. I earned a B.S. in political science and then subsequently years later earned a M.A. in counseling. I’ve always, it would seem, have been interested in governing and people. I find both quite fascinating. The two degrees seem like such odd bedfellows but it only gets stranger when I add the art and illustration. I just find it easier to convey a Kingdom message in keeping with the way God tends to do - through vision, symbols, and parable. It worked for Him so it works for me. It is a Kingdom thing.
I have occupational experience in governing in American style government. That is in keeping with my political science degree. It is from that experience I learned to love exploration and research and to some extent, teaching and sharing that information. I also have occupational experience in mental health counseling. While I no longer do that form of counseling, I certainly learned to engage people and help them in a very different way than using research and information sharing. They certainly collided with each other in helping people.
What was missing in my life was the art really. It was that place where I can use pictures to help people understand concepts and messages. I find that symbols and narrative are found in every culture ancient or modern. We still use symbols to understand our world and each other. I research this and talk about how those symbols and messages need to line up with the Kingdom’s central message if you are truly a Christian. In fact, you need them to follow in the right stream in order to govern effectively in His Kingdom.
I’ve had other positions. I’ve worked in public education in a couple different capacities so I am somewhat familar with public education, hiring, and kids (not to mention germs). I love what I do. I love challenging, equipping, encouraging and helping people fly into all they were created to be. I love learning to love, although sometimes that is like swallowing some ugly tasting medicine.
I hope you find Zayin Hope and The Cultural Ayin to be a blessing to you. It is my pleasure to provide information, encouragement, and illustration to help you along your Jesus journey.