From the archives – Summer 2007
(Jars of Clay’s song “Something Beautiful” inspired this post. Enjoy.)
Recently, I spent some time at the Getty, and every time I go, I am reminded just how much I love it there. It’s in a beautiful location with wonderful architecture, gardens, and collections. As my friend and I hung out there, I felt so invigorated. My dusty, creative photography skills started to rev up and ideas of different shots and perspectives began to fill my mind. Reflections on 20th century European drawings reminded me how much I want to develop my sketching ability and learn more about line, value, and shading. Taking in a specially featured Manet led me to ponder perspective and the fluid nature of painting as it breaks the bounds of the expected and conveys feeling, challenges your notions of the possible, and pushes you to consider what isn’t always obvious.
While it was a gorgeous day, I didn’t leave simply with images of pretty scenery and extravagant rococo furnishings. Instead, these things reminded me of the beauty that is ever present because of the One Who created. It awakens me to the call to live richly and to pursue the passions deep within, ignoring the fact that to do so often requires me to walk with unsteady, untested legs. But the Ground upon which I stand is always solid and secure and the Voice that calls me to go deeper still — to not rush through life without drinking deeply, to ignore those that say I can’t or shouldn’t even when I too have joined them in this doubtful cry, to meet the challenges with my focus secure — it’s He Who reminds me of who I am. And He shows me that part of Who I am is what He’s promised to help me become. He shapes me “into something beautiful” and inspires me to continue the work He has called me to do.
And so the art has done it’s work. It points me beyond color and texture toward the Beautiful and the True. It reminds me to look for the movement that is already underway and to stop being hedged in by the doubts and my thoughts on what is within the realm of possibility, often a byproduct of my limited imagination. No, He is able to do more than we can ask or think. He is without limit or bound. He is not hindered by finite minds which only see so far and because of cynicism often discount much. The picture this Artist paints transforms its viewers and enables us to use a renewed sight and mind.
By looking at Him and fixing my gaze there, I see much more is possible, and as my trust in His character grows, I find myself less and less distracted by my oft-misguided analysis of familiar doubts and circumstantial evidence. I am utterly taken by His work, and each day, I gain a different perspective as He teaches me to see more clearly and truly in the presence of His light.