“What do my children need to be able and willing to do before they leave the house?”
I sent a couple of thoughts from that list last week (you can read it here), and now I’ll pass on a few more.
#3. Be able and willing to seek out good art. All beauty, and truth, and excellence points us to God. Every bit. Even the artists who don’t – or won’t – acknowledge their Creator are vessels and instruments; testimony to a glory on a grand scale. The artist’s gifts are God-given, his passions and creations cry out that there is something more in this life.
“For he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
(PS. Understand, too, that just because someone is labeled a “Christian-artist” will not mean his work will necessarily be better or praiseworthy.)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
#4. Be able and willing to sit and wonder. One reason to seek out beauty is because it moves our souls and makes room for the wonder and curiosity that inevitably cools as we get older. Enjoying good art is a way to recalibrate our souls and senses, and helps us remember the wonderfulness of our story.
All that said, will my children be able and willing to quiet themselves and sit in the hushed room displaying art from the Italian Renaissance, today? Not likely, if they are anything like their mother at this age!
Today we snuggle and whisper and wonder together on the prim blue sofa in the middle of the square room, magnificent oil canvases all around. We re-tell the story of Joseph and Potipher’s wife. We not-so-quietly note that the ladies were “a little plumper” in the 1600’s. We wonder aloud about why some aren’t wearing clothes, why some wear halos, and what it means to be a martyr. We whisper about passion, and sacrifice, and sin; how God’s story is not always pretty and easy to understand, but it’s always real.
We remember. We wonder.
There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. (Walt Streightiff)
Joy to you and yours, today.