“A Tissue for No Tears” by Dahlia Elsayed & Andrew Haik Demirjian

Thinking of the future can be anxiety-inducing. After living through a global pandemic, it is understandable that we might look to the future with some trepidation. This is why I was so struck when I visited the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn this fall and saw an exhibit entitled “Souvenirs from the Future”. The exhibit contains a variety of objects–textiles, furnishings, games–with labels detailing their “history” as artifacts from a world gone by that is many years in the future from now. One such example is seen in these artfully decorated tissue boxes. The card next to the display explains that, in this imagined future world, tissue boxes are obsolete, but are present everywhere as they serve as symbols of generosity and sharing. 

I think we all long to live in a world where tissue boxes are merely artifacts of days gone by, a world where tears no longer flow, a world where we all are made to feel like we belong and the image of God in each of us is honored and affirmed. As we journey through this season , reflecting on light and darkness, let us continue to imagine tear-free futures and museums filled with artifacts of painful days that are nothing more than memories.