by Dr. Matthew Sutton
On April 28, 2016, Heart’s Home hosted a beautiful benefit dinner called The Art of Compassion Presented at the marvelous Bohemian National Hall, the event featured in a very special way two artists of compassion.
The first was the painter Makoto Fujimura who is well known in bringing together Japanese abstract expressionism with Christian theologies of beauty and grace. Having founded the International Arts Movement, illuminated the gospels, and written masterful spiritual meditations on art, culture, and faith, Mr. Fujimura well deserved the award for being a leader in creating a culture of compassion. “Who am I to receive such an award from so beautiful missionaries who serve the poor with the heart of Christ?” He remarked. “In our conversation,” he recalled in his comments, “I asked for Heart’s Home to travel to the newly devastated region of Japan and within a week, they making concrete plans to visit those hurting the most.” He said that it was in Heart’s Home that he found a companion in communicating through art Christian hope and joy in the midst of pain and suffering.
The second artist was Marjorie Eliot, the famous Jazz musician and mother to Jazz culture in New York City. She is best known for her generous hosting of Jazz matinées in her home apartment in Washington Heights on 555 Edgecomb Avenue, Apt. 3-F. For over two decades, Ms. Eliot has hosted an extraordinary group of ground-breaking Jazz musicians in the most intimate of places with the charm of a leisurely family Sunday afternoon gathering. Her Christian generosity manifests waterfalls of hospitality by making these jazz events feel deeply honest and truly memorable. As a sign of her beautiful soul, instead of an acceptance speech, she played the most exquisite song on the piano, full of the playfulness of a child and the depth of a joy that has endured trial. Her son was also present and was deeply moved as all who were able to attend.
While so many were moved to participate very generously in the silent and live auctions, which truly touched the Heart’s Home missionaries, the smiles and conversations reminded me of the best memories of a family feast. It was all if we were with the shepherds feasting after having met the Angels and the newly-born incarnate Savior or with the two disciples after their encounter with the resurrected Lord while on their way to Emmaus. In the end, that is the beauty of it all, it’s just like a dinner at Heart’s Home. It was just with a lot more guests, and for the wonderful volunteers, a lot more work. But, as Fr. Paul said to me afterward, “The deep contentment at the end of the evening, the joy of having experienced something deeply human, it’s the same.”
We who were able to attend are greatly looking forward to the next benefit dinner so we can participate in continuing to support this mission to bring the art of compassion especially to those who are most lonely. If you were not able to attend, you can still donate by visiting this link ... or if you would like to be notified of the next event sign up for this newsletter by visiting ...