We are a damaged people, living under a curse that breaks, bruises, and belittles. I find it an immense temptation to avoid this truth.
I can – with great ease – train myself to ignore the ugly and by doing so lose the ability to see the original beauty underneath it. I do it every time I avoid eye contact with a panhandler on Jackson and Wells. Every time I focus on how my daughter’s disobedience reflects on me instead of loving her for who she is. Every time I spout platitudes to loved ones crushed, because it’s easier to quote scripture than share their pain.
In Christ, I am called to look the ugliness of our condition in the face. As an artist, I am to train myself to see beneath the dirt, anger, and shame; to recognize a created being, art, a story worth telling, a song worth singing. And I am called to respond with beauty – by humanizing the dehumanized, giving hope to the damned, and loving the unloved, as Christ did. I am called to turn the broken into beautiful.
But I fail, forgetfully, regretfully, frequently.
To this realization, I am told:”Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And He who was seated on the throne said,
“Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:3-5)
Through this hope I am renewed – and I create beauty. I have experienced the newness promised, and one taste is not enough.
Now to this blog.
We are intent on engaging the varied intersections of faith and the arts, through honest, grace-filled dialogue. Dropping the “mission, vision, values” speak, this means that we want to look at art (in all its forms) through the eyes of Christ. And we want Christ to transform us through what we see. This will involve wrestling, wondering, and worshiping in ways that we don’t always understand and can’t tie up neatly with a theological bow.
It is simply how we partake in making things new.