Faith and Art (Day 40 of 42)

Art is faith. Faith “is the promise of things hoped for, the certainty of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) God, the Artist, the Giver of life creates faithfully in the milieu of us all. (1 Tim. 6:13) And all of us have a critic in every family don’t we? The art critic in my family once said to me, “Good art shows life as it is, not how the artist wishes to draw it.”

I have thought long and hard about what was proposed that day. And as hard as it is for me to say it, there is a lot of truth to what was said. Life around me does seem like Shakespeare play, or Dostoevsky novel. Most of the story seems very chaotic for me. And I have a strong intuition that I do not understand why everything happens since I myself am I character within the Big Story [History.] There is a bigger big picture than the next Hollywood blockbuster. Within the finite systems of the art of life around us, or to use the analogy, God’s canvas we see God drawing on is planet earth. God is an artist, or more appropriately God is the Artist. The Creator uses finite structures like all artists do. God uses human beings, lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), planets, solar systems, and so much, much more. As human artist we use canvas’, colored pencils, paints, etc. The Artist’s talent extends to a realm far beyond our understanding. It is a wonder, a mystery, abstract at times. My questioning of chaos and order rings true. God somehow paints new stars into being everyday. God pencils in a newborn baby girl (My daughter Ellen Noel was born June 19th, 2008.) God pulls out a new canvas as another solar system is created! (“Ten years ago we thought there were two galaxies for each of us alive. Lately, since we loosed the Hubble Space Telescope, we have revised our figures. There are nine galaxies for each of us.” wrote Annie Dillard in ‘For the Time Being’) God the novelist creates yet another Cinderella man story, or the Lion King takes back the land in Africa (see movie ‘Ghost in the Darkness’) Jesus the short story writer told parables with apparent underlying morals. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “We are God’s ‘poiema’” We are God’s poems. So Jesus is even a poet/ don’t you know it.

God, the Great Artist transcends our art. Isaiah called our righteous works, “filthy rags.”(Is. 64:6) Filthy rags?!?! Beethoven deaf creating by audible memory symphonies, the blind poet John Milton re-creating the world he once saw and the world he re-imagined, Vincent Van Gogh going insane finding paint-stroke sanity via slapping into two-dimensions the three-dimensional boredom of man, on and on I could go about the great artists of time and history. They whisper rumors of another world. They reveal humanity and what it is to be human, good, evil, and life itself. The author of two of my favorite stories, ‘The Green Mile’ and ‘Shawshank Redemption’ wrote, “Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.” The man was Stephen King, and I agree with him. Filthy rags…?

God creates something from nothing! God is transcendent. Human artists ought be thankful for the supplier of all good things, materially and spiritually. We humans see biased, tainted, and dimly. God knows in full, pure and clear. My faith is in the God who began his work here long ago and described it as “very good.” (Gen 1:31) We have tainted the work, but in every end Redemption comes, as the Artist promises “to make all things new.”(Rev. 22: 6) Very good!! Come Lord Jesus, Come.

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