Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This beautiful mystery

Art is difficult to label; it’s difficult to pin down the exact meaning of a piece into a nice, tidy, three sentence description. It seems indefinable. It’s a mystery. We know that, whatever it is, it is a beautiful, awe-inspiring, convicting work; but a precise definition eludes us. What is it about that work that convicts you so? Why do you find it so beautiful? Why is it so inspiring?

Writer Randy Smith says, “Because of the awe-inspiring relationship between God and man, the symbolic essence of creation, the image-bearing nature of human beings, and the limitless riches of the gospel, artists can rest assured that they dig into a world and experience that is saturated with meaning—they do not chase phantom rabbits of beauty and truth”
(The Wonder of It all). Read that again; there’s a lot packed in there.

Another way to look at it is this: because of…
1. Our relationship with God
2. The essence of creation
3. The fact that we bear God’s image
4. The gospel
...we live in a world full of meaning.

Our God is a God of mystery. It is no secret that we, in our finite human-ness, do not understand all of the complexities of our triune God. Through our art-making, we can portray an aspect of the mystery and the beauty of God that cannot be explained in a bullet-ed list. We can hand our audiences a way to understand something about themselves; we can give them respite from the cut-and-dried reality of the world. Through art, we can offer people another perspective as they gaze upon and seek to understand the great Mystery.

1 comment:

  1. Rachel. Thank you for this post. I am a worship director in a church in northwest Iowa (where we have our own cornfields). As an artist, worshipper, and follower of Jesus I appreciate these words that help articulate for me the longing TO articulate, create, and find meaning in all the things I see around me. I love the name of this blog also, "Grace sightings." If you don't mind I'd like to use some of these words to help lead my congregation in worship this Sunday as we look for our own Grace sightings.