“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso
But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. – Isaiah 64:8
Commission: “a task or matter entrusted to one as an agent for another” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
There’s no doubt, people love art. Sometimes we mock it. Sometimes we think it’s ridiculous. Sometimes we’re too cheap to see its value… And we all need it. How often do we think of art in a city park as excess spending? How often do we skip out on adding beauty to our churches and homes because of the cost? How often do we appreciate a sculpture for what it can do? Evidence shows that art, whether in the classroom or in the park, reduces crime. What’s that worth? A house becomes a home when we put a family and art in it. Many a mood has been lifted by the art relayed through a radio. I don’t think most people spend a lot of time thinking about art. But it’s always making a difference. Art is often taken for granted when it’s present and longed for in its absence. Every piece of artwork is unique. Some of those unique pieces, like your couch, or the painting you bought from Target, are replicated for sure. But each one has a unique origin. Each one was created by an artist trying to make something beautiful. And that’s the power of art. To provide beauty for our imaginations. Art can never fully satisfy our senses. It can never fully replicate reality. But it does something more powerful. It sparks our imagination. Why was that word used? Is that brushstroke purposeful or accidental? What happened after the shutter closed? The answers to those questions offer perfection. Words, brushstrokes, events, they all can become perfect. Words are too often used to hurt. Paint is often used in vain. And no event is ever perfectly happy. But they can be in our imaginations. That’s why the most loved pieces of art leave plenty of room for imagination. Because all art is finished in the imagination. All human art that is. Art longs for perfection either explicit or implicitly. It often points towards degradation to stir the desire for something better. At other times it points straight to perfection. We live in a world of art. Every tree and shrub, every plant and animal, every song and chord, point to a creator and an artist. Our pictures, our paintings and portraits, our sculptures, our books and songs, are all trying to capture a little of the magic in the original piece, creation. It’s been tattered and torn, worn and ragged. But it’s still better than anything we can do. Its Artist, its Creator is the same as ours. And we are a part of it too. God loves beauty. He created it. God loves the beautiful. He commissions it. God loves. He requires it. And that’s what art is, really. It’s love in the eye of the beholder. In the ear of the listener. On the tongue of the taster. Love can come in words on paper, paint on canvas, clay in abstract, food on a plate… Thank God for the love in art. Thank God that He chose to give us art to love. And to love us through it too. We are blessed to live in a world of art. We are all blessed to be a piece of art. Like any great painting, we aren’t perfect. But we’re not finished either. We’re a piece in progress. But our Van Gogh is not dead. Our Creator still lives. Unlike any form of art we can create, God created us with the ability to transform. We have the ability to smear the ink. To add splotches and mistakes. Imperfections we can’t remove. But if our life were a script it would read like the greatest piece of poetry or pros ever written. Because it contains the beauty of redemption. It contains the inspiration of forgiveness. It contains the heart breaking of the Cross and the joy of salvation. Because of this greatest of works, we have a hope. Close shutter.
Daily Journaling Questions:
- How did I help someone in kindness today?
- What did I learn today?
- What am I thankful for?
- Who did I love today?
- What am I dreaming of?
- What about today do I want to remember forever?
- What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,