I am sure all of you now know about the devastation the earthquakes in Nepal caused on its people and historic landmarks. The first quake occurred on April 25th causing death tolls as high as 8,000. The second quake occurred earlier this week, unraveling the already anxious nerves of many Nepalese citizens. Many have lost their homes and loved ones. Food and water shortage is a daily worry, and aid workers are struggling to deliver supplies to badly hit nearby villages.
The world has seen the devastation in photos, on their mobile news feeds, and heart wrenching tweets calling for help throughout the land of social media. The power of social media to spread news and mobilize action is incredible. On the flip side, the distracting power of social media is also undeniable. Just seconds after scrolling through photos of distraught families who have lost everything, the next images are of glamorous people enjoying the splendors of southern France. We now can construct our realities through our smartphones, filling our screens with what we want to see while scrolling past what we don't want to see. Therefore, we are easily desensitized to the tragedies happening right now throughout the world when we can just "filter it out."
I am no different. I have the fortune of working out of my home in Woodley Park, D.C. doing my dream job every day. I paint pictures of adorable dogs, precious children and glamorous fashion illustrations. To say I live in a fantasy bubble is an understatement. I am so grateful for my circumstances, but I am tempted to stay comfortably inside my bubble when filtering out unpleasant news is at the click of my fingertips.
However, that is not how we are called to live. As I am typing this, families in Nepal are burying victims of the earthquake. There are mothers unsure how to feed their children without resources. There are also the families mourning the loss of the U.S. marines and Nepalese soldiers who died en route to delivering aid just a few days ago.
To continue to live in my bubble and just let the news pass by like a movie is not how I choose to live. Prabal Gurung told CNN after hearing about the first earthquake, "non-action is not an option..." I painted this watercolor as a reminder of what was lost and a call to help. The majestic temple in the center of the painting now lay in ruins. This was a 16th Century temple famous for its grey sandstone and gold capped pagodas. Below is a photo of what it looked like prior to its collapse. The second photo is what it looks like now.
You can purchase prints and stationery of this painting HERE. I am donating 100% of the profits to the Shikshya Foundation Nepal. You can read more about this organization and its Earthquake relief efforts HERE. The Shikshya Foundation Nepal is a local Nepalese non-profit that has currently mobilized a full time team to deliver aid directly on the ground. New York based Fashion Designer Prabal Gurung, who was raised in Kathmandu, is also raising funds in partnership with the foundation and you can access his fundraising campaign HERE. I hope that having the print in your home or sending the cards to friends and family, it will serve as a reminder to not live isolated in our blessed realities, but to extend a hand to the rest of the world suffering in need.
This is one of my favorite quotes from Author and Theologian, Frederick Buechner, "The Place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."
There are so many ways to give. I am amazed at the individuals and organizations who took the initiative to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for relief efforts. I am also grateful for the volunteers from around the world who are taking time to serve. The opportunity to help is available. It is now our time to pitch in.
Thank you for your time and thank you for reading. Please share this with your friends and family.