I stood on hallowed ground today. The library at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, is showing twelve pieces by sculptor Diana Lubarsky. I have seen images of these pieces before. She has pictures of each sculpture on her website. I was unprepared for the impact of viewing these pieces in person. There is a warmth, a life that emanates from each clay, bronze and terra cotta person Diana has lovingly and respectfully formed. She tells the story of the holocaust. She tells sorrow, perseverance, love, hope, sacrifice, uncertainty, deep aching loss, loneliness, injustice, peace, legacy, healing, and defiance. I experienced all these emotions at the exhibit today, but I was overwhelmed by Faith—a burning bush in the desert, a light so unexpected that I couldn’t turn away.
I recognized these clay people. Is it ok to say that? I have never experienced anything close to the horrors they lived, but I recognized the loneliness, the grief, the sorrow, as well as the fierce love and defiance. Suddenly, the holocaust victims had faces. They were individual people, not just notes in a textbook. They were here and then they weren’t. We lost millions of people. We lost.
But God. I sat in the exhibit and had to confess to my God, that I know nothing, that I don’t understand, that I am so very small. But God was in this place today and I worshiped The Mysterious One. Because there is nothing else.
Diana Lubarsky’s exhibit will be at the library at Pacific University until October 31st, 2014. I highly recommend it. There are better pictures of the current exhibit here.