Why art? As we place one foot before the other treading this earth, our hearts declare within us that there is More. As a culture, we tend to respond by trying to obtain more. We move faster to do more to earn more to spend more to gain more. But the More to which our hearts call us cannot be obtained. It simply is. And if the veil of blue sky and clouds which separates us from Heaven were to be torn, we would see the More, though only for an instant before we were blinded by its brilliance... by His brilliance, for the More is His Glory.
And so in our humanity we created ones marvel at the intricacy of the veil, Knowing in our souls the More that lies beyond this reflection. From where I sit I can admire the golden sunlight of an autumn afternoon and listen intently to a symphony as the gentle breathing of my tiny companion plays counterpoint to the birds' chirped melodies. My eyes linger on the blue of the sky, which is so impossible to reproduce. My thoughts wander to the human minds which created the shelters in which we dwell, strong enough to keep us safe and warm through the storms. And like breath fills my lungs, glory fills my heart, and in my very limited way, I imitate my creator by putting pen to page, or by lifting voice in song, or by touching fingers to keys. Redeemed, created one meets Holy, Uncreated One and we fellowship, and the brilliance of His glory warms me rather than blinds me. The artist in the thin place.
In the moments of creation and imagination, the More is evident and the veil between Heaven and earth is no thicker than the flesh that separates my hand from touching my own heart as it pumps life blood through my body. The Life Source is untouchable, but oh so near! Imagination and the act of creation remind us of this fact. In the writing, the music, the movement, the sculpting, the painting, we realize the More, the Glory by which and for which we were created. We then find ourselves driven to places of communal enjoyment, worship services, coffee shops, living rooms, dinner tables, concert halls, art galleries, and why? Because in sharing art we tear down walls, open ourselves to vulnerability, and give each other wings to fly, eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to grasp the More, the Eternal. We artists, co-creators or sub-creators with God, guide each other to the thin places. That is why art. It is the map, the guide, the bridge, the key to the More - the transformative Glory of God whose image we cannot grasp, and yet in which we are made.
Inspired by discussion questions in Luci Shaw's Breath for the Bones - Art, Imagination, and Spirit: Reflections on Creativity and Faith