This visual reflection by poet-turned-painter Hayle "CP" (Celestial Poet) Oswell considers the role of humanity in both instigating and enduring persecution.
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20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
John 15:20 is a verse that I carry with me daily—literally. It is tattooed on my arm and reminds me to walk in faith no matter what people say.
The project reflects the way Christ dies on the cross while those who followed Him and loved Him stood by and watched. Not only that, but it speaks to how those who said they believed in Him turned their backs on Him, stated He was doing the devil's work, He was not the Son of God, was pushed out of His city, and persecuted in spite of all of the miracles, wonders, teaching and feeding He had done. He was the Son of God without sin and yet, He was treated less than a man or even an animal. He was talked about in the most negative ways even though He came to save everyone—even those who persecuted, beat, and "murdered" Him.
The painting depicts a priest who went against Jesus, and under it exclaims the different mean/hurtful things those of the world (and sometimes in the church) say to people. Here specifically it calls out some words, phrases, and different social media platforms that are used to tear down people. It includes symbols of organizations who proclaimed they loved Christ but did not fulfill the work of Jesus. As Christ explained, if "they" persecuted me, "they" will persecute you also. People around the world of different backgrounds, economic statuses, weight, ethnicities, that are followers of Christ are depicted at the bottom of the portrait carrying the heart of Christ. He shines down on the world and enters the hearts of those who welcome Him. The portrait shows even when Christ's followers have an abundance of hate being thrown at them they carry the fruit of the spirit to withstand it and show they are in the world but not of it.
Celestial Poet, also known as CP, is a resident of Greenville, S.C. CP speaks softly but her words are loud and heavy with deep meaning and personal triumphs. Inspired by Maya Angelou, CP writes about anything that bothers, or touches, her heart. She recently began expanding her creative endeavors to include logo design and painting.
Celestial Poet influences and coaches poets with her self-developed “LMNOP Writing Workshops” through CPPoetry.com. In these workshops, she pushes her students out of their comfort zones to teach them how to write from their hearts, learn the power of their voice, how to deal with stress, perform with passion, and communicate effectively. CP has grown to be a great leader in her community by teaching the youth the power of Spoken-Word working with students ages 6 to 86 and who come from a kaleidoscope of backgrounds. She has taught at the YMCA as a teen counselor, worked as the 3rd through 6th-grade counselor, and worked as a full-time substitute throughout Greenville County School district.
She currently works with Writer’s Well Youth Fellowship, a program through Speaking Down Barriers, founded and created by Crystal Tenille Irby, mentoring young black teen girls how to be their authentic selves through the art of poetry and is also a co-founder of #FreeUpstatePoetry where she works alongside Jason "Max Lit" Franklin to bring a judgment-free artistic venue to the upstate every other Friday at 8 pm via FreeUpstatePoetry.com.