Real Church. Real Life. Real Celebration.

A World for Vincent

I’m off to the art museum this morning to enjoy some of mankind’s finest artistic interpretations of many things in God’s creation. Some paintings will be illuminated with precisely placed yellow spotlights. While others are set amongst a collage of similar colors, designs, or subjects. I anticipate anxious art lovers with craned necks surrounding the most honored artist’s works.

Early into the visit, a freckled-faced boy is a joy to watch, with his wide open eyes, and purple bubble gum bouncing about his mouth on the verge of escape to the carpet below if he drops his chin a mere fraction of an inch. He wonders if the sneaky crocodile on the canvas will snatch the sunbathing flamingo and send pink feathers flying into the air from the snap of its strong jaws. The boy finds respite and escape from a humdrum day in the oily figures that were smeared and blended a hundred years before by the painter. An old man stands alongside him gazing at the same picture, reminiscing about his naval port visit to New Zealand during World War II when he watched a crocodile do precisely that which the boy imagines.

Just around the corner, an ornately dressed social butterfly tries as conspicuously as she can to interpret the abstract puddles of blue, yellow, and red that were thrown upon a stark white canvas before her affluent and influential mother-in-law pounces upon her with the know-it-all inquisitiveness of an aristocratic art critic. The lady peeks and ponders and tastes the tiny beads of sweat pop out above her lip. She settles on the notion of a panoramic cityscape as seen from the artist’s own studio flat high above. Fanning the flush from her cheeks with a curved museum map, she eagerly waits to prove her sufficient breeding for Cybil Pettigrew’s only son.

The museum walls are filled with experiences: smudges of reality, strokes of fantasy, blotches, swatches, and the moist clay of imagination. The boundaries of creativity are outlined by the artist’s mental constraints and physical limitations of skill. The artist intends to illicit an emotional response from the art lover. A negative response might be as satisfying to him as a positive one, if it’s filled with the passion and the fire he had when he created it.

The patrons move the edges of understanding further from the artist’s own limitations. Interpretations of art add intangible value to the images and objects. What she sees there certainly differs from what he does. Whose viewpoint is correct? Just as God confounds the wise by blessing the fool, so does the truth in the brushstrokes elude the artist and his most ardent fans. They, too, are children of the most-high God, no less specifically loved by Him than Rembrandt, Da Vinci, or Picasso. God intends the patrons in the museum to realize their own ability to create. They may never pick up a paintbrush or grip the mallet and chisel of a sculptor, but He has provided a way for them to tap into their creativity and express what they were designed for.

Recognize the beauty in the song you sing or the chords you play. He delights when another worshipper connects to Him because your part, like no other, escorted them there by His side, into His presence. Stretch your ear to hear the voices outside the familiar. Musical and lyrical creativity is as potentially varied and limitless as the languages and letters of the natural and supernatural world. Just as God’s human creation is marvelously dissimilar in every respect, listen to other musical genres. Take some time to listen to Latin music. Have you ever heard music from India or Romania? Try instrumentally forward music from classical to jazz to electronic. The human voice is one vehicle for His anointing, but, as we know, instruments can say things we cannot. Maybe you could take a journey through music that starts from early recordings in the 1900’s?

Honor the Sculptor of the Grand Canyon in the Arizona redness. Esteem the Stoker of volcanic fires within the bowels of our crusty world. Worship the King that folds precious and sparkling diamonds in the African hills. Marvel at the birds of the air. They are His elaborate gifts with wind-lifted wings on an orange and violet sunset canvas.

You and I are curious wonderers. We are vessels to be poured out. We are expectant, anticipators chomping at the bit of change and restoration of Kingdom things. Bow before the Artist whose spectacular palette boggles our understanding and blows the tapestry of our minds. Find a small tributary of your own and travel downstream in this river that takes us all to the deepest discoveries and wonders, in God’s ocean of color, texture, and sound.

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