For this post, I had to get a little help from my friend. On Facebook, my big brother, Frankd Robinson, uploaded this picture of one of his designs. In true artist fashion, he left the interpretation up to those who viewed it. Of course, before I delve into my interpretation, I have to act like I have some manners and introduce my big brother to you.
Who is this Frankd, anyway?
Well, he’s always making a statement, even when he’s not speaking. Frankd literally has something to say—all of the time. He doesn’t need to be around you; his art is his mouthpiece.
See, if he’s not smiling and joking with you which is most of the time, then he’s creating these extraordinary pieces that make you stop and think. If you knew him, then this design to the left won’t surprise you at all. It’s just another fabulous piece by a man that creates fabulous things….out of nearly any and everything.
I’ve been knowing Frankd for more years than I care to tell you all about. In my recollections of him from back then, I don’t recall ever having a cross word with him or even seeing him angry. Of course, it’s not to say that he can’t get angry or anything like that, I’ve just managed to stay over on this side of paradise with him. My intention is to keep it that way, you dig?
When looking at one of Frankd’s pieces, perhaps one of the first things you will do is stare at it momentarily to see what shapes you can make out. Then, you will start pointing out all of the stuff that he used to make it. It’s stuff that you and I consider, in most instances, uselesss–broken glass, bottle caps, string, rubber bands, etc. Somehow, the man manages to intertwine all of these things and form one single portrait; one single abstract idea that is remarkably clear in his work. It’s a stroke of artistic genius to me which is why I will never show my stick people drawings to him. At the same time, Frankd has the capacity to be very direct with his artistic messaging; hence the design above.
What is Diet Hope?
It’s something about the word ‘hope’. General usage incites expectations and anticipation; the word is a catalyst for the oft-expressed word faith (“Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Hebrews 11:1). As frequently as it’s used, its popularity is increasing even more, however, the word ‘hope’ is being coupled with other words to suggest something entirely different from the usual meaning.
President Elect Barack Obama and Dr. Cornel West both have books with ‘hope’ in the title, The Audacity of Hope and Hope on a Tightrope respectively. The former is acclaiming that having hope is courageous while the latter is a bit more pessimistic. Then, you have Frankd and his image of a tall cold can of Diet Hope. Of course, the image can render many things–such as people thinking they will be healthier if they cut their daily caloric intake by drinking carbonated water with an artificial sweetener. But this is about my interpretation of Diet Hope which is totally different because I haven’t had a carbonated beverage in over 5 years.
To me, Diet Hope encompasses the tone of this nation right now. Cynicism, pessimism, skepticism, and negativity seems to permeate the air we breathe. Because of uncertainty, we’re worried about our well-being if our hope is too opulent or robust…..uhm, fat. So, we’ve stopped feeding our hope with possibilities and knowledge of God and self. Instead, we’ve put hope on a diet by feeding our anxieties and fears with bad news and disheartening analysis from so-called experts.
How ironic. The one nation that professes to be ‘under God’ is the main one that cannot trust God for a deliverance. It’s the main one that doesn’t seem to understand the very nature of how God works; He is most present during tumultuous times. See, that’s the flyness about being a Christian rooted in the Black Church. When you get past the holy dancing, the hooping preacher, and the 70-voiced choirs, the essential message is that there’s always room for hope.
So, I encourage you to feed your hope; make sure it gets real fat and sloppy with anticipation. One of the best ways to fatten up your hope is to turn off the TV; leave those news websites alone and since the newspapers seem to be fazing out anyway, stop reading them. Now, you can’t cut them out completely, so I’m really just advising you to limit your intake. Meanwhile, meditate on the workings of the universe and how it continues to evolve. God upholds all things visible through His invisibility. Since the sun doesn’t appear to change its natural course, then what makes you think this current situation will be a determinant of the future? That, in itself, should be a great starting point for fattening up your hope.