I love beautiful objects. The simple artistic lines that emerge from the creative consciousness, from the way a photograph is framed, to the use of oils and text on a new canvas, to the words of a poet, each of these and more inspire, cause reflection, and draw me closer to God. The inspiration from a particular work of art often effortlessly transcends that of the artist. As I examine what nurtures my journey towards God I find it is never simply form. There is always a combination of form and function, truth and transparency, and often simplicity and soul. I also know God through the art is drawing us to Divinity.
When I look at the efforts of our hands, I am caught in the missing voice of form or function. It often seems as if we struggle to find both. The externals of a car look great but everything else is lacking. The corporate rhetoric promises incredible results, yet the vapor disappears faster than the words travel. Empty promises are far too familiar. Our actions exist without any discernable purpose, other than feather preening.
Sadly the gap does not end with work and material objects. In my experience it is exactly the opposite! This is simply the beginning. The pinnacle comes in our relationship with Divinity. You and I are not the first. The problem has been around since the early days. When God has to confront a nation with the facts, “Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after: a day to show off humility? To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in black? Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, God, would like?” (Isaiah 58.5) You know they are in trouble. I do not think I am that different.
There are a few fundamentals that begin to address the challenge. Be in the moment; the best artists are their art. Live with intensity; great art rarely comes from someone that does not care. Seek community; together we find strength.
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