I had a few moments to kill, so I decided to take a close look at the paintings at the art gallery inside my local church. Every quarter this gallery hosts a new exhibit displaying the work of artists from within and without the church community.
The current exhibit is about God’s Creation with paintings and sculptures of types and skill levels reveling the different aspects of the Creator King. Next to each work of art is a short artist statement with a little glimpse into the heart behind the piece.
Meandering through this gallery, I saw oil paintings, mixed medium pieces, water colors, sculptures, pen and ink. I also saw gorgeous pieces by professional artiest next to those done by recreational amateurs. Everyone was invited to submit a piece for consideration in the exhibit.
As I wondered through this wonderland of visual stimulation, my feet suddenly stopped working as a huge smile cribbed across my face. There in front of my eyes was the best piece in the whole gallery. I had found my pot of gold, the foundation of youth, the Holy Grail of Creation art hanging on a wall surrounded by fleeing clouds of color and texture.
You may think I jest, but I do not as the joy I felt when I first saw this painting comes back even as I write these words.
What was this painting that I saw that brought me such joy?
Well, I’m glad you asked as I took a picture of this jewel which I now display below along with the artist statement:
So, you may ask, why did a child’s painting stop you so suddenly? That is a question to which there is no easy answer…. Perhaps it was because I have had several science versus religious discussions lately in which Genesis was used as weapon on both sides… perhaps my emotions were triggered by being a father with two young children….. perhaps I have no eye for art and should be banned from all art galleries in the tristate area….. perhaps I’m just a crazy fool with very little gray matter between the ears…
Or perhaps the smile came from the simple manner in which a child can standup and say “God made the sun.” Complexity is removed and simplicity is embraced along the mystery that surrounds all simple answers.
Perhaps…just perhaps we humans of the 21st century could stop trying to figure out everything for a moment and just relax in the mystery of a Creator Love. Yes, physics and science are wonderful pursuits and should be studied and discussed (it sadness me to have to state that as I don’t see science and following Jesus has being opposites…but if conversations over the past month taught me anything, it is that this false dichotomy is still embraced by folks on both sides of the steeple door.)
Perhaps…and this is my last perhaps… I should just let fathers of old guide us along this journey around the sun.
“In love did He bring the world into existence; in love does He guide it during this its temporal existence; in love is He going to bring it to that wondrous transformed state, and in love will the world be swallowed up in the great mystery of Him who has performed all these things; in love will the whole course of the governance of creation be finally comprised. And since in the New World the Creator’s love rules over all rational nature, the wonder at His mysteries that will be revealed then will captivate to itself the intellect of all rational beings whom He has created so that they might have delight in Him, whether they be evil or whether they be just.” – St. Isaac of Syria
“God is everywhere. There is no place God is not…You cry out to Him, ‘Where art Thou, my God?’ And He answers, “I am present, my child! I am always beside you.’ Both inside and outside, above and below, wherever you turn, everything shouts, ‘God!’ In Him we live and move. We breathe God, we eat God, we clothe ourselves with God. Everything praises and blesses God. All of creation shouts His praise. Everything animate and inanimate speaks wondrously and glorifies the Creator. Let every breath praise the Lord!” – Elder Joseph the Hesychast