Our world is filled with wonder. Perhaps the vocation of artist allows me to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Gazing out my kitchen window, the beauty of the spaces between things and the occasional spectacular sunset leave me awestruck.
“When we contemplate the wonders of evolutionary history in both its smallest and greatest dimensions, through a microscope or a telescope, what we grasp is a concrete experience of awesomeness … Suddenly to see some aspect of creation naked, as it were, in its elemental beauty, its thereness and suchness, stripped of all conventional names and categories and uses, is an experience of transcendence … This possibility is before us in each and every piece and part of creation: it is the wonder at the world that young children have and that poets and artists retain. It is to experience the ordinary as extraordinary. This is experiencing the world as God’s body, the ordinariness of all bodies contained within and empowered by the divine” Sallie McFague, The Body of God: An Ecological Theology (Fortress Press: 1993), 194.
Experience of transcendence
If only all people could see with eyes of wonder. Sunsets or sunrises tend to get most people’s attention. They are reminders about the extraordinary world in which we live. This blue planet in a sea of darkness. Unfortunately, we tend to shake off the experience of transcendence too quickly. We dismiss it as unimportant in the busyness of our imagined life.
More than a copy
Precious are the hours spent in contemplation as I nurture an image into existence. More than a copy of a place or a moment in time, they attempt to convey the integral nature of the Creator. Intimately entwined in all she has formed, she beckons us to the wonderment before us. She calls us to stop the frenetic pace and just stand or sit for a moment in silence before the ordinary. If only we could see her in everyone and everything.
If we could see
Should our eyes be opened to her presence in all things, we would be less likely to wage war. God suffers terribly when we do. We would be less likely to clear cut a forest for the wealth it contains or gouge the earth for gold. It would be akin to rape.
Stop for the wonder
I long for the day when all eyes will see the wonder before them, when love reigns and peace abides. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the sparkle on new snow or the green of a blade of grass. A full life demands simplicity, contemplation and the desire to serve others. Let us begin today.
Do drop in at the Edmonton Convention Centre on Tuesday between 4:30pm and 8pm. I will be in attendance along with all the artists who submitted their work for this event. Featured artists (who stay for the year) will be announced at 5pm. Would love to see you!