Written on October 10, 2012
God is drawing people to Himself by His sheer majesty. He must be. Tonight the sunset brought me to my knees. Well figuratively, because I was driving and therefore kept well seated, but it literally took my breath away.
I was driving to an honors presentation of a friend who was unveiling her 5-piece art exhibit: five paintings depicting the journey of grief. Of growth. Of pain. Watching Saritha explain the emotional process which these paintings express, my heart felt the same way it did as I watched the sunset: beauty, inexpressible beauty. And yes, her paintings were beautiful – but they demonstrated the beauty inside Saritha. Of the pain, the struggle, the joy, and the peace which have come from her time of processing. There were times when she was asked a question and she didn’t have words to answer. Why this color choice? “It felt right.” Why this flower? “Because it fits. Because I don’t have words to explain why it fits. But it fits. Maybe one day I will be able to tell you why.”
As I sat there, I wanted to take pictures; I wanted to capture the moment. Photos don’t capture moments like those. The beauty of human emotion. Of brokenness. Of art. It is art! God is the artist! The best of them all.
On my drive home I was reflecting on the urgency to share the GOOD NEWS of Christ’s redemption, that God stepped out of the swirls of heaven into our painting. The artist depicted Himself in the art. The author wrote Himself into the story and the other characters need to know! But I was thinking about the contrast in the powerful urgency and what God continues to impress on my heart – the beauty of the moment. Now. Not that ‘He is coming soon’ but that ‘He is here now.’ In each moment: in the sunset, in the paintings, in the tears, in the laughter, in the guitar chord of my favorite song, in the sweet taste of chocolate, in the hug of a friend, in the kind look of a stranger.
Maybe it’s not a contrast. There’s power in the ‘already but not yet,’ the ‘He is here and He is coming.’ Our intimacy with Him here now drives our passion to tell others. Our urgency flows from our love, His love, for the world – that all would see the Artist in the painting. That they would recognize the pains He went through to step onto our canvas.
And that as we worship God in each moment (C.S. Lewis said that the present moment is the closest we will get to grasping eternity), He reminds us that it’s His story we are characters in. That He is more interested in everyone knowing this Good News than even we are. As we grow closer to Him, we develop His heart – and our love for His world grows.
And there’s beauty in that too.