Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Artist

If everything we conceptualize about our world is art theory, that raises a few questions about the Artist. And there are two profound truths about our God that reveal His artistic nature.

The first is this: that He created at all.

There are other words we could have used for the coming-into-existence of the world if God were, in fact, not an artist. If God is, for example, simply supernatural and metaphysical and this world is nothing more than His grand idea, then we might say that God manifested the world. That He just brought it into being. Conjured it, maybe, as opposed to creating it. If this world is nothing but science, if it's just a way to bring things together, then maybe God fabricated this world. And those are just three of our options.

Let me ask you - is there anything beautiful about being manifested, conjured, or fabricated? Ugh. It's lacking a certain something, a certain investment, a certain intimacy.

But God did not manifest, conjure, or fabricate; He created. He connected with this place on a personal level and brought everything into existence. Which brings us to the real question at the heart of the Artist - why?

And like any good Artist, God's answer is clear: Because I needed to. 

There's a subtlety of language here that cannot be overlooked. God did not have to create. It was not required of Him by any external force. It is not because He created that He gets to be God; He was God long before this creation ever existed. He did not have to have mountains. He did not have to have oceans. He did not have to have the sun and the moon, the flower and the field, the cat and the dog. He did not have to have man. There is nothing about creation that declares had to. God never had to create.

Nor is it that He merely wanted to create. This world, this universe, this heartbeat is not a whim. It's not because God got bored one day sitting around in His trinity and wanted to do something to pass the eternity. It's not that there wasn't really anything else to do, so why not make a world. Any of us that have ever undertaken something we wanted to do understand this: if God had merely wanted to create, the world would never be complete. We would be subject to His whim and His boredom. If He grew weary, He'd just quit. If things weren't working out right (an understatement, right?), He'd just wipe it all clean and be done. It wasn't anything anyway, right? When you only want to do something, you can kind of take it or leave it. It's cool as long as it's convenient. There's no real personal investment in it because it's just something. It's just a thing. 

God did not have to create; we are not His obligation. It was more than that He wanted to create; we are not His whim. The whispered truth is that God needed to create; we are His heart.

We are this thing that burned inside of Him for long enough that He couldn't ignore it. We are a grand idea that began as a seed in the depth of His being and slowly grew into all that you see around you, and all that you are. Once He got the concept of us, it ate away at Him until He couldn't not create this world. 

He created because He yearned to do something beautiful, and you are that beautiful thing.

That's how it is for artists. A little tiny idea of something plants itself in the depth of your heart and it grows and feeds on itself and eats at you until you just can't ignore it any more and you, with discipline and passion, start letting it pour out of you in whatever your medium is. You let it seep through your pores until even your sweat drips with the passion of creation. It becomes the work of your hands, but it is also the work of your heart and your mind and every ounce of your being.

That's how every good piece of art comes to be.

...That's how you got here.

And personally? I'm thankful. There's something beautiful about being created. Something about coming not from a petri dish, but from a potter's wheel. Something about being not a pleasure, but a passion. I am not manifest, conjured, or fabricated.

You are not manifest, conjured, fabricated.

We are created.

Because our God is an artist, and in the depth of His Spirit, He could not let go of the idea of us.

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