Thursday, October 16, 2014


'Floodlighted' is my response to some things that have been on my mind lately. 

‘Walking on Water’ is a painting by Makoto Fujimura that I was privileged to see in Grand Rapids this fall. It is a painting that is easily overlooked in a contest with hundreds of works of art to see, and that is primarily because it is only fully ‘seen’ – the refractions of the crushed crystals are prismatic – after looking at the work for 10 minutes or more. Fujimura spoke the night I was there, and mentioned that his work is impossible to photograph, because that depth of prismatic beauty cannot be caught and transmitted via camera.

That got me thinking about my own art work and my frustration with trying to photograph it for sharing on digital media, and my cards and books. My work is not as complex, but even my paintings are so much more appealing ‘in real life’. It is why I like to show my work publicly whenever possible. The photo is just not as good as the actual work of art.

Next I considered how my daughter, Brittany, looks so strikingly beautiful each time I get to see her. I often see pictures of her online, or on my phone, and they are stunning (not biased at all!), but when I see her face to face, I am often blindsided by how her inner sparkle shows! I notice this more in my daughter, who I don’t get to see very often, than in my handsome son and husband who I see almost daily… though occasionally I feel the same way about them. I love the photos I have of these loved ones, but they are so much more beautiful in real life.

My thoughts turned to GOD. My Savior, my Father, my Everything. It felt like a thought was floodlighted in my head as I considered whether the ‘images’ I see of my Lord are good representations. I am sure they are… I see Him in His Word, in people who love Him and are His (and in all people, to a certain extent), in creation and the arts. But all of these are like photographs of great paintings. They don’t communicate the reality – the beauty – that seeing Him in real life will.

GOD came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to communicate Himself to us. Somehow, Jesus, though fully human, was also fully GOD and gave a true representation to earth dwellers. God sent His Son here – not a photo or painting, not only HIS Word, but Jesus. Yet, in spite of that, people didn’t really stop to look at Him. His deep beauty wasn’t seen, and He died on the cross, carrying every single sin on Himself. But GOD raised Him from the dead! This is the completely surprising, overwhelming, unearthly way GOD represented Himself here on this planet!

Several passages of Scripture are significant here:
Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Col 1:19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him

Col 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

Col 2:16-17 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Hebrews 1:1-3 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

The book of John

I just think that if the things I see on earth that remind me of my Heavenly Father are so beautiful, and if all of the beauty I see is a ‘photograph’ of the reality …

Wow. HE must be breathtaking. 

11" x 14" acrylic on watercolor paper
1" white border

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