Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Creation is supposed to speak to us of its Creator, but mostly it doesn't. A sunrise doesn't remind us of the joy of Christ hastening to claim His Bride (Ps 19). Mostly, a sunrise simply means that we went to bed too late, and now we're up too early (groan!). The fault does not lie in Creation but in its observers.
Often, it takes a work of art to bring Creation's message into focus for us dullards. The framed close-up of water rushing over brook stones makes us take note of its beauty and reflect upon the swiftness of time, and the permanence of our Rock. Bach's counterpoint gives us heart-breaking insight into the freedom, beauty, independence and harmony among the persons of the Trinity. Sunday dinner with its aromas, its crystal and candles on white tablecloths reminds us that worship isn't merely propositional. It is a feast. We aren't simply invited to an intellectual exercise. We are invited to a party.
Art lets us see into the depths and dimensions of what seems at first to be opaque material. But we don't need to go to the art museum to catch a glimpse of these undergirding realities. Just consider for a moment, why you arrange your schedule the way that you do, and how it might reflect God's work. Would consciously arranging your work to imitate His patterns actually be more productive as well as more beautiful? When you discipline your children, aren't you sculpting a human soul? And doesn't that open new horizons on God's dealings with you?
The beauty of Art is that it is a way of seeing as much as anything else. It is a habit of the heart. Perhaps the only thing that changes us more deeply is suffering.
Would that men had words and minds and songs enough
To honor that magnificent, unspeakable One
Whose love transforms us more surely than time,
More deeply than grief,
More gloriously than a thousand dying suns;
Who pours Himself out for us in scarlet richness
From the dark wound of womb-wrenching
Who breathes into our sterile spirits new-birthed Life,
By that Breath-born Prince and that ancient Breath
That still makes dust
All rights reserved