It all started when I married an artist. My family wasn’t particularly devoted to the arts, although my dad is an incredible craftsman, and in the last twenty years has become a stained glass artist in his own right. So, when I looked outside, I used to see a blue sky, brown earth and green trees. Imagine my shock when my wife, early in our marriage, told me that the sky has greens in it, dirt has blues and trees have pinks. We both had eyes, but she saw things I didn’t.
When we would walk along a forest path, she would point out sounds, textures and smells I never knew existed. She introduced me to the world of birdwatching. I now can distinguish between the sound of a red-bellied woodpecker and the beautiful flute-like call of an oriole. I am able to associate those pleasant feelings I had as a child playing in wild fields, to specific sounds and smells of birds and flowers and bugs and herbs. I was blind, but now I see.
When our eyes are opened to beauty, it transforms us. We are enlightened and softened. Life takes on more meaning and we begin to escape from stifling ignorance. That is why art is important. “The love of art guards us from returning to the lumpish masses of clay from which we were taken…Observing and enjoying art gives deeper meaning to our love of God and God’s creation, humanity. Art thus leads us toward God,” says Franky Schaeffer. I couldn’t agree more.
In our church we are committed to art. We teach it to our children and promote it to our adults. Everyone is an artist is some way. God, the Master Artist, has made us marvelously diverse and unique and put in each of us a magical spark of creativity. It might come out in poetry, painting, sculpting, computing, decorating, singing or gardening, and 1,001 other ways. We honor Him when we create beauty, and in a way it saves our own souls.