Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Art God

I recently read that the relationship one has with his earthly father is often the starting point for how he views his Heavenly Father. Unfortunately I can't remember where I read this statement (it was simply a one-liner in the middle of a longer work on an unrelated topic), but I was intrigued by the concept. Surely I don't think that we should go around judging people's relationships with their parents based on their religious beliefs, but as a means of self-analysis I think looking at one's relationship with their father might be a good way to look at one's relationship with God.

I know that personally, I have always been able to relate to God in His role of Creator more than any other role. This is, I think, because my own father is a creator, and I was taught to value creativity and artistry at an early age. In fact, if I could name one activity of mine that makes me feel closest to God, it is when I am creating. I don't create intrinsically "Christian art," but as Madeleine L'Engle wrote in Walking on Water, all good art is essentially Christian, since all things that are good come from God. (Of course, I'm not saying my art is exactly good, either, but I'm working on it ;-)

I guess I've always seen God foremost as a grand artist. When I was younger, I could literally see Him in everything, just like I was taught to see good and beauty in everything from bones to trees to animals to skyscrapers. If those feelings have waned, it is because I am older and have lost a bit of the sense of innocence that we all have when we are younger. Still, nothing has stopped me from seeing God's brush-strokes everywhere, from the rhythm of a city street to the melody of a Bob Dylan song. I guess I'm just rambling here. I just was thinking about my (somewhat weird) parents today and thought that I should thank them, because I know that the way I see God today is related to the fact that I was raised by artists, and that has done more good for me than a "normal" white-picket fence upbringing could have ever done.


Pomoprophet said...

I wish more people would be taught to see the beauty in everything. Its something I'm always working on with my students. To see God outside of the little boxes. And to be thankful. I think both of those go along with seeing beauty. If we see it we see God and it makes us thankful.

grace brother!

MR said...

Yes, and also when we enjoy beauty we want to talk about it! C.S. Lewis expresses it better than I can in his book Reflections on the Psalms:

“...all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise... lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside...I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment.”

Tori said...

I also think that looking at your relationship with your father is a good way to begin to analyze how you see your Heavenly Father. I think, like you wrote, it helps you appreciate different wonderful aspects of God. And to take it to another level, I think it can help you find where you might has misconceptions about God. It is very interesting to think about and I think God can and (will) use those thoughts to help you learn to understand Him more!

I look forward to reading more of your posts, and I'm so glad I stumbled upon this blog!