in reading luci shaw's breath for the bones, i came across this quote from eugene peterson, and i really love it:
there's a long tradition in the Christian life, most developed in eastern orthodoxy, of honoring beauty as a witness to God and a call to prayer. Beauty is never only what our senses report to us but always also a sign of what's just beyond our senses--an innerness and depth. there's more to beauty than we can account for empirically. in that more and beyond, we discern God. artists who wake up our jaded senses and help us attend to these matters are gospel evangelists.
i have always thought of beauty as a call to prayer, not so much in an theologically descriptive way, but in a real pragmatic way: when i see or hear or smell or discover something beautiful, i am immediately drawn to the Creator. beauty moves me. and, as one who plays with paper in ways that surprise me and sometimes others, i want to be that kind of gospel evangelist that peterson is talking about. i want my juxtapositions to 'wake up our jaded senses' and move us to singing a new song. i am certain now, more than ever, that it is part of my calling to keep gluing. to keep juxtaposing. to keep cutting and pasting. if for no one else than at least for me: to attend to these matters, to point to a truth beyond the "paper" of life, and to demonstrate redemption by finding new life for old bits of refuse, these are part of my experience of God. this is the good news i have to share, and one of my favorite ways to share it.