Thursday, January 31, 2013

Art and Grace

"I love to give charity, but I don't want to be charity. This is why I have so much trouble with grace."

Blanche is napping and for the first time in a long time, I have been sitting and reading. Its so quiet and nice to just sit and be still. I do find that lack of personal time tends to make me a bit of a spaz when it comes to just doing one thing. Sitting still to read a book. Like, how I've started a blog post in the middle of reading because my mind goes too quickly to just read sometimes.

I decided to pick up Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, because I read it in college when I was in a very different place, but I remember him being very real and I like real. To be honest, being a Christian is hard for me. Being a good Christian that is. I mean, I easily can forget that I need God, and then when I yell at Blanche for something like wiggling while I change her diaper, it smacks me in the face that I need God. But I'm not talking about that sort of bad Christian. I mean bad at doing Christian things. Its hard for me to like the culture of Christianity. Sometimes I think the person that Jesus was on earth and what we have made Him to be is so different.

In the last few blog posts, especially this last one, I have been giving myself permission "to be happy." But I think what I am coming to realize is that I am giving myself grace. Grace to not always be the best mother. Grace to forgive myself and try better the next day. The more I realize how average I really am at most things, the more I give myself grace. And in that grace there is freedom to be better. When I stop focusing on getting everything right, and just live to live… and live to love… all of the sudden I seem to be a better person. Someone who has realized that while I may not be the best at completing my Bible study, that even just pleading with God for patience with Blanche will make me a better mother than doing nothing at all.

 I am the type to want things perfect or not at all. But as I know and am seeing, perfect isn't necessarily the best option. As someone who has an artist's mind, the fallenness of life often reflects how beautiful things can be. When I was studying in Ireland a poet came to speak to us and he said something like, "art comes from some disturbance". Of course, all of us good Christian kids were all upset, because he said that if there was such a place as heaven, art wouldn't exist. At the time I journaled about what art meant to me…and I thought that he was a liar.

I think I have realized now though that grace and forgiveness are the most beautiful things in life. And that there will be art in heaven. Because although we will be with God, we will remember our fallen state and how he saved us. This to me is why art exists, its the human expression. says art is, "the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance." But of course we know through art history that art has been classified and known as almost anything. Maybe thats a horrible way to speak of the entire history of art, but thats what it always seems to be to me. I do think that what all of the different movements have in common (which will bring me to my point and why you may feel you are reading a school paper) is that they all come from a movement in time, in a culture, involving a group of people. Art continues to be a reflection of human existence.

All of the sudden it seems that to me, art and grace go hand in hand. Grace is the pardon we don't deserve, the beauty that comes from darkness. Art seems to so often reflect the same. The world is broken, anyone can see that. But some how broken people still create beautiful things. And we not only have the ability to make these things, but to recognize them as art and beauty.

Like I mentioned, I'm not really a good Christian. I think I am a better artist. And for anyone who has trouble sitting in church, I think that looking at art can show them some of the same things. Even those that do not want anything to do with God can't ignore that there is a sadness so often inside of them. That relationships don't always turn out the way you wish they would of. Every person has a memory deep down that they probably hate to talk about. And most people can probably relate to relationships with others being one of the best things in their life. And that when you have close and personal relationships… there always has to be love and grace. And once you've walked through those things with someone, your relationship starts to become more real.

The quote at the top is what made me want to write. But I didn't really write a lot about that. I did write about grace though. And art. And I love this quote too:

1 comment:

  1. I am not artistic, the closest I can come to it is that I do love nature, gardening, ect & displaying it any way I can. I never really understood many definitions of art either. I believe art is really a reflection of God. I think it's a broken reflection that gives us glimpses of God's perfection - His perfect Love & grace. And really, how can we not give & receive love & grace (to ourselves & others) after seeing His perfect picture of it.

    Love reading your posts & knowing what you're thinking about. :o)