Thursday, July 24, 2008

For Christine (and others like her)...

I've got a few ideas for posts swirling around my head in their usual disorganized states of confusion. I've even written a rough draft for one in particular that I just need to research a bit more and tweak here and there. But until then, I came across a passage in one of the books I'm reading that beautifully reflected the heart of an artist who has chosen to follow Christ. "The God Who Smokes: Scandalous Meditations of Faith"(1) by Timothy Stoner (yes, that's his real name) has served as a much needed reminder that the God of Mercy is also the God of Wrath. May I never forget that!

Anyway, the following passage reminded me of my dear friend and fellow believer Christine. So this is for you:

The artist who follows Jesus explicitly resides in the world and participates in culture in a truly unique way. She helps others pay attention to, take notice of, and celebrate the goodness of the good creation. She does not shy away from the dark and the broken, the sorrow and terror--but crafts it in such a way as to point toward hope. It is revealing a pathway out of despair and chaotic meaningless. Her work is a candle that flickers and flares.

Her art is for the good of the world.

She does it for the blessing of the world.

She is intent not on reinforcing the curse but breaking it. She has and is a gift. She is sent, like Jesus, to open the eyes of the blind, open the ears of the deaf, or give words to the mute. She is sent on a mission of freedom. Her mission mirrors that of her Savior. She is sent to break chains of despair, set at liberty those tied up with cords of emptiness, futility, and death, and bring sight to those who have lost the capacity to see. She is sent to give us the forgotten vision of the glory that peeks out behind the bush and branch and sea and life as it was meant to be. She sings and shrieks and falls to rise again, to give voice to what we've forgotten or refuse to hear.

She pours out her blood that a world may be saved.

She serves not always willingly or well but in her best moments, when she has forgotten herself, she serves.

Still, her loyalty is not here. She has had her idolatrous attachment broken. She is free to be in but not of . She is not slavishly loyal to the patterns, the values, the demands, and commands of a world in love with itself. Her eyes look up even as she looks out, and in looking around she sees through. She is not bewitched by appearances nor overly and permanently distraught. She has seen a city whose builder and maker is God, and she pines for the day when it will come here so there will be light forever.

And the light will be the love and the joy of her life.

She has this secret. Her heart has been captured by a lover who is out of this world. But He is coming back. She wants to make herself ready and her friends and ever her enemies , too. So she does her work as best she can and prays that it is good, that it will shine so brightly as to bring glory not to her but to Him.

Thank you, Christine. For recognizing the darkness and the light in my heart. And inspiring me towards greater works of art for His Glory.

(1) Stoner, Timothy.
The God who smokes: scandalous meditations of faith
published by Navpress, 2008


JML said...

I'm looking for new books. Yay. I hope that everything's going well for ya!!!! Great post and take care!

Rebecca said...

That is awesome! I like to think that everyone is an artist in their unique own way. Since we are God's creation, we all have some sort of creativity to share!

Christine said...

Wow! How cool to be mentioned in a post. :) I feel like a celebrity (grins--giving out autographs at a later date).

Unfortunately, I don't think I live up to the passage.

Two parts do ring very true for me, though.
1. "She serves not always willingly or well but in her best moments, when she has forgotten herself, she serves." Unfortunately, serving well is an area where I too often fall very short. You, Kathy, are one of the people who inspire me to serve with more energy. Thank you for your example to us all.

2. "She has this secret. Her heart has been captured by a lover who is out of this world." Now that's the complete truth! Amen, sister. And thank you for being my friend:)

Anonymous said...

I think this is beautiful. I might put this on my never-ending book list!

Jeff said...

Great post, Kathy!

What an amazing (and true) description. The artist whose heart has been captured by God is intimately connected to the Master artist; The ultimate Creator. The very act of using their gift is an illustration of a part of God's nature, and how we reflect His image.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!!! I am almost a native (my Dad was stationed there and we moved when I was not quite 3) to Alamogordo NM, known for the atomic bomb , White Sands, and Holloman AFB. We moved to Walsenburg CO in Nov. My husband and I had a small auto/farm equipmnent parts store in Tularosa, NM for years. God recently had us join American Missionary Fellowship as missionaries to the SE area of CO-
Loved going to your blog and hope to get to know you better. It's been fun meeting so many sisters in Christ that I didn't know I had!!!! We are going to have a great meeting party some day soon!!!!

(bOY I DON'T KNOW WHAT i AM DOING!!- I keep posting reply to my comment page on my page!!!!)

Kevin Davis said...

good post - I didn't have time to visit for long - but will check back

Kris said...

so serious,

i don't read books like that. maybe i should. mu last book was monster by peritti. now thats a book.