I am NOT an artist. At a recent workshop on art as prayer, however, I did my best to tap into any semblance of creative ability.
In one activity, we reflected on a passage of scripture, identifying a word or phrase that spoke to us, and then drew it with pastels. I won’t say WHAT I was trying to create/represent, or what the passage was, but I ended up with this:
Bypassing the fine-art-critic stage, we then changed how we viewed our own work, by placing a bi-fold mirror on it. We adapted the location and bend of the mirror until we saw something we liked. So, suddenly, my work looked like this:
How much of a difference by a changed perspective!
Taking things one step further, and were invited to create a mandala (circle-based drawing) from what we had seen in the mirrors, this time using pencil crayons. My eye was attracted to one area of the reflections, and so my new pencil crayon artwork ended up looking like this:
Again, a new perspective was brought into being through an intentional new process and careful effort, and even with a new medium.
This Easter weekend, we are invited to look at the artistry of our own lives.
Our lives are a manifestation of what we see and do and believe – it may not be exactly what we want or how we want it, but we are the creators of our own lives. We create and blend our work and worship in such a way that we understand the meaning behind, and hope that maybe that meaning will be understood by others. Sometimes it works how we want it to, other times (like my pastel drawing) it may not be what we envisioned.
And then, an external factor (like a mirror) invites us to recognise that beauty exists in our work: whether we were aware of it or not, whether we were expecting it or not. We can be shocked by seeing how a change in viewpoint can change the focus of our lives, and how we then present and are received by others viewing us. For us as Christians, this happens through the Resurrection. What we are celebrating today (and everyday, as Easter people) is our willingness to be changed by the power of the risen Christ.
Finally, we are then encouraged to take things one step further, and to create something anew as a result of having been changed by the experience (the mandala). We get to look for new areas of focus, new expressions of light, new ways to be the church that Christ calls us to be. We can recognise the original aspect, because we know where we started from; and we can celebrate that there has been opportunity for spiritual growth and development by the process itself.
May our lives ever celebrate the truth and joy of Easter as a moment of artistry! Alleluia!