One of God’s greatest gifts to us is our ability to express ourselves.  Each of us are unique with gifts exclusive to us.  We’re wired differently and use our brains in particular ways. We are constantly discovering individual avenues to express our thoughts, feelings, and stirrings.  Things that make us joyful – love, family, friends.  As well as things that disturb us – injustice, hate, death. 

Art has many forms.  From Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 to DaVinci’s painting, The Last Supper, from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to National Geographic’s photography in sub-Saharan Africa, and from the aimless scribbles of a four year old to the intricately designed precision of the Egyptian pyramids. All gifts from our Creator.  How can our faith and art (whether we are creating it or simply admiring it) come together?  Anytime something brings us closer to the Father, we are exercising our faith.  Certainly this is true of art.  Art has a way of provoking things deep inside us.  Something the soul says is significant and needs to be shared.  When deep calls out to deep, art is created and his glory is revealed.

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things but their inward significance.  Aristotle

Impressionistic art has always been meaningful to me, especially the work of Claude Monet.  His collection of water lilies are my favorite.  Not being a painter, it is so fascinating to me how colors create not only images and forms but also shadows and light.  One color melts into the next as if searching to find its place.  Only to be stilled and resolved.  Content.  That’s what I see.  Several of Monet’s collections depict the same scene yet in different light and from a different perspective.  Something I have found to be true of my faith.  How many times does it take for me go through the same motions or emotions when I continue to make the same mistakes?  Continue to think the same shallow selfish thoughts.  When I allow the Lord to show me a different perspective or I simply look up to see that the lights are in fact on and brighter than I remembered, I arrive at a place of resolve and contentment.  A place that is closer to him.  All I ever want or need.

Art tells a story and makes us think.  Sometimes the story is very much like our own story.  We recognize something familiar and we feel we are known.  It helps us to be aware of the world we live in and circumstances we might not have an opportunity to know otherwise.  It challenges and inspires, excites and disheartens – with and without words.  All open to our own interpretation – the way we see it – the way it speaks to us. 

Christ is all and in all.  Where do you see him?  Feel him?  Hear him?  Know him?  Whether you are creating or admiring, look, feel, and listen.  His glory will be revealed.

 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Suzanne Cain

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