Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Transience

"It is Well"
7x9, oil on canvas 

There is nothing like the passing of a human life in effectively re-centering priorities. It is a beautiful time, yet much less productive time, at least in tangible things. Not as many checks next to the items on my to-do list. My thoughts have been less focused on painting, especially blogging. Days and evenings have been spent with people who need the company. There have been more phone calls, more focused attention on people, more time in prayer.

But for me, there is no such thing as a "work-life balance". My life informs my work. My work is often meditation on life.

This life is so transient. Painting the sunrise will teach you.... As will the passing of a loved one.

You can send cards on birthdays, sit through the family dinners be there in body, know a person in fact and miss knowing their soul. (I don't say this because I have regrets with Cathy's life. I don't have any. I say this because there are others in my world into which I don't currently invest heart and soul.)

You can take a thousand photos of the sun as its rays reach over the horizon and transform the morning into another world. You can know how to mix a deep sky blue or the color of a tree  in the shadows. You can paint one hundred paintings and say "that was fun". You can look at a scene and recognize that it is beautiful. You can do all these and miss knowing the One who spoke those things into existence. This world is nothing but a whisper of the glory of His character, a reflection of His beauty, a glimpse of His love and a fragment of His power.

Words do no justice. Nor does my paint and brush. But I feel as George Herbert when he wrote of his poetry:

Hearken unto a Verser, who may chance
Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure.
A verse may find him, who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice.

I hope that with my brush I can in a small way "turn delight into a sacrifice" for my viewers as well.
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