Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Seniors: Katie & Anna Johnson

It is so fun when siblings get to attend Cornell together!  

Katie and Anna Johnson are twin sisters who served faithfully in our ministry here at Cornell.  Right up til the last minute Katie was on campus helping me to interview and equip next year's Community group leaders.  Her dedication to shepherding and encouraging the younger women in our ministry was just awesome!  The Johnson twins are both literature buffs and Katie studied English here at Cornell.  She is hoping to teach high school in California while Anna is pursuing a job with the International Justice Mission.

 In her Senior exhortation Katie introduced us to a painting by the Belgian surrealist painter named René Magritte, called the Treachery of Images.  It's a painting of a pipe and underneath it it says "This is not a pipe."  The sentiment is simple and yet extremely profound.  
It says “this is not a pipe,” because it’s not a pipe; it’s just a painting of a pipe.  It is an image of a pipe and although it can provoke us to think about a pipe, in the end it cannot do what a pipe does.  A person would be foolish to live as though the image is all that there is!   Katie explained:  In the same way, much of what we see is only a representation of God, not itself god.  We are materialist and sensual beings who think that what we perceive with sight and touch in the physical world is what is most real.  But Romans 8:25 says that we hope for what is not seen, because we already have what we can see, and someday that will go away.  The world will fade away, but God is eternal.  C.S. Lewis said going to Heaven will be “the real wakening; the dream is ended, the morning is beginning.”   It is so easy to live our life consuming and consumed with all kinds of "images" and idols.  
Katie at one of our women's times

Katie is very good at helping others to see Christ through our favorite heroes from the past or from fiction.  They can function as echoes of the real Hero, like the drawing representing the real pipe.  She pointed out that Jean Valjean’s (Les Miserables) generosity to the poor reflects how gracious God is to us; Captain America’s purity reflects how Jesus lived the perfect life for us; Mulan is fearless in the same way that Jesus courageously came down from his throne in Heaven for us; Sydney Carton laid down his life as nobly for Charles Darnay as Jesus did for us. (A Tale of two cities.)  I know that many high schoolers will be blessed to have Katie as a teacher!  

Anna running Cross Country 
Throughout her time here at Cornell, Anna was involved with the on-campus chapter of the International Justice Mission (IJM).  IJM is an incredible organization that works primarily to end human trafficking and rescue modern day slaves.  IJM is a Christian non-profit that expends a lot of energy working to restore rule of law, protect the vulnerable and thwart oppression all around the world!   Anna's heart beats for the poor and those in need. While she was a student, Anna was constantly working to help Cornellians become more aware of important issues in our world.  Whether Anna ends up working full time with IJM or not, we know that she will continue to mobilize others to fight for enduring peace.  
Anna and Katie lived in a house with 8 other women leaders in Cru.  I called it "the girl house" but they called it Alpha Omega house.

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