Of Oil Swirls and the Painter’s Canvases
Remnants of Korean Steak Wraps spread sesame oil and soy sauce in brown swirls beside romaine lettuce leaves on two plates still on the table. Minced garlic and ginger hang fragrant in the air.
|Photo: Megan Myers, Creative Commons cc license|
My husband’s voice slips out from seven year old Daniel’s bedroom, reading a bedtime story aloud. Daniel sniffs and coughs, reaching for his handkerchief, a re-purposed cloth napkin.
“Mom, what makes colds go away fast?” he asked wearily a few minutes ago.
“Sleep, buddy. Lots of sleep. Let’s have you go to bed early, okay?”
He’s brushing his teeth now, and a sentence from my daughter’s AP Drawing class has been running through my mind this evening.
“Create an entrance to the picture for the eyes to travel to the subject,” states her Art Principles handout. “The eye should travel in a circuit from the subject to the secondary subjects before leaving the painting. Do not place an obstacle in the picture which prevents the eye from going beyond it.”
And it’s funny to have an art concept speak wisdom into my life, but I can sense a deeper truth from it in relation to my walk with God. This concept that I want the observer’s eye to scroll right to the subject is something that reverberates truth in me. I desire for people glancing in my life to find their eyes directed to the beauty of Jesus.
So, Morgan’s art principle is on repeat in my brain, and I find myself reviewing all aspects of my life. In my attitudes, am I pointing viewers to the beauty and transformative power of my God? In my stories and the words that I choose to describe my life, my marriage, my family, and my sin struggles, am I pointing to God’s restorative grace and his unstoppable love?
Just like a painter or a sculptor chooses what to paint, where to highlight, and what to bring the eye to, I choose how I perceive and receive my world and attitudes. This color-swirled, majestic canvas of our lives is a gift and masterpiece still being finished by the Master Artist. I desire to have each curving Van Gogh-like flourish draw the eyes to our Artist God.
It reminds me of a verse I’ve been thinking about this week from my Bible reading in 2 Corinthians chapter 6. Paul is writing a letter to some believers and he says, “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path so that our ministry will not be discredited.”
It reminds me of the art principle about placing no obstacle in the picture which prevents the eye from moving on. Then Paul racks up a seventeen-item list about all the ways he and his co-workers are striving to make right choices, but he ends with this thought: “We have spoken freely to you and opened wide our hearts to you.”
And I think this is the way we draw the viewer’s eyes to the Subject each time. We speak freely, striving honestly to have clean hands but admitting when we’ve stumbled, and we point always to the beautiful work of the Artist God in us. He gets all the credit.
And we open wide our hearts to you. Thank you, friend, for this online or email friendship, for this pointing to the Artist God together. I appreciate you and would love to get to know you more.
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