Monday, August 01, 2016

Add to the Beauty

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before my affinity for an album by singer-songwriter Sara Groves called Add to the Beauty. The first song I heard from the album—over 10 years ago now—was “You Are the Sun.” It presented the allegory that Jesus is the source of all light, beauty and warmth, and that we are the moon, cold and lifeless until we reflect the light of Jesus.

Listening to it reminds me of Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.” I love the colors that swirl and move among the heavenly bodies, a tapestry of light over the village at night. The stillness of the town below the dance of the heavens reminds me that there is a place where the worship of God continues eternally, unabated by the darkness that sometimes worries or even frightens us. It gives me hope.

The steeple in the village of that painting makes me think of two churches I’ve stood before in Nebraska. One is south of Lincoln, near Holland, I think. The other is in central Nebraska in a small town I can’t even find on a map. Both are in the middle of wide open spaces, pointing toward heaven, visible for miles.

Which reminds me of a song called “Stand on a Steeple.” Which reminds me of a mountaintop in Colorado. Which reminds me of laughter and friends at a Young Life camp. On and on, memory upon memory… music, color, architecture, language, poetry, lyric, drama, experience, light. All of it: art. It is powerful, and it speaks in a way that words alone can not.

We worship a God who is a Creator. In Genesis 1 God’s story opens with six days of God’s voice singing forth all that we know. His magnum opus is humanity, which God makes “in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27). We are endowed with the ability to create and be creative. 

We are artists. Whether or not you believe yourself to be artistic in practice, it’s right there in black and white: you are made in the image of the Creator. Your identity, your DNA, is imprinted with the desire and ability to bring forth something new, unique, beautiful. You are reflective of the God who made stars and starfish, galaxies and grapevines, each hair on your head and every mountain height.

How will you add to the beauty? What has God made you to do? Your answer is your worship.

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