Monday, January 22, 2007

Creative Christianity

One of the many reasons we choose to homeschool is purely and simply for the love of art.

That may sound strange to those who adore the Sciences and Maths and cannot live a day outside the confines of the "tried and true". Now, I am referring to parameters and boundaries that can be proven by a theory or rule, rather than the looseness and fluidity that surrounds and weaves itself into a work of the imagination. Not to say that I do not enjoy the solid "yes" answer to a difficult equation. I, more than all the members of my household, appreciate knowing when I have arrived. I love the realization of an utterly unchallengable solution. Nor would I propose to say there is no imagination in the Sciences. All one needs must do is look at the brilliancy that was Da Vinci. His imagination far surpasses anything I have yet to see in my mind's eye.

Here, again ... my love of art. The freedom it offers ... trying to explain my mind to those who tell me they would love to spend even one day inside of it. Desperate to put to paper all the ideas swimming around in my cranium, in worship to the Creator.

I love the way Michael Card describes what I have always, somehow, known. Creativity is worship insofar as it is, at its essence, a response. I hear the Word, and I respond with music, with silence, in adoration, in appreciation by picking up the basin and the towel. It is a romantic response to this Person whom I adore. He is beautiful! I want nothing more than to be in his presence. I love Him! And so I sing and I write... Because it is a response, it does not originate with me. He speaks. He moves. He is beautiful. We respond. We create. We worship.

God is an artist and he is beautiful. He has woven his image into the fabric of our lives, which explains our drive to create things which are beyond us and which we don't always understand. Perhaps more important, he has issued a call to us that carries with it the possibility of obedience or disobedience: the call to respond to his beauty with creative worship... God calls us to create a space in time for ourselves and others to meet with God, to gaze upon his beauty and to worship him.

Artists in medieval times did not sign their work. It never occurred to them to do so. ( Michelangelo signed only one of his early sculptures, the Pieta - because he was incensed that some people were attributing it to another artist. He later deeply regretted his conceit.) Their art was a gift meant to point away from themselves and toward the God who gave it. They were safely hidden in Christ, free from the tyrrany of self. They knew the great truth that they were nothing more and nothing less than children of a great King who had been entrusted with a sacred task: to win praise for their Lord... the One who first gave the gift.

So, my husband and I continue to play our instruments, writing songs and music, painting and sketching and teaching when we can, hoping that a little of the love we feel for our Saviour rubs off onto the souls of any who are thirsty. It reminds me of a few lines of one of my favourite poems. It is taken from the love-poem entitled The Cinnamon Peeler's Wife, by Michael Ondaatje

you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

There is so much more to learn in this thing we call life ... and I cannot say I have enjoyed the whole ride, yet. But I do know that it is the desire of my heart to be known by others as a friend and lover of the One by whom I am known.

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