Sunday, November 11, 2012

kid’s art and righteousness

i was wandering around the foyer of our church the other afternoon awaiting the start of an event when i ran across a sketch book that had been left there by some child.  i started flipping thru out of idle curiosity…a few things struck me, for one, the randomness of the pages that were used.  it was hit and miss, here and there, do a drawing,  skip 20 pages and then do another drawing. 
i found this one

windmills with windows, doors, propellers…
…sky with clouds on parade…
…sheep with smiling faces!
all this started me thinking: of course, these scratchings are symbols for what the child was trying to communicate…there are recognizable shapes, details, colors…all conspiring to help the viewer make the metaphor work. 
but the real things themselves are of course so much more complex.  windmills, sheep and birds are three dimensional; they have volume and are much bigger than what is represented here.   blue sky is the result, not of color coming from a tube of blue wax, but the result of complex interactions of air and space and light and particles and distances.  grass and clouds and well, everything, is vast in its complexity. and these exist in time…there is movement and sound: sheep graze and bleat, wind sweeps across grass to make it wave and turn the windmills props, clouds drift along, . …none of this can a static drawing capture.   
the parent recognizes all of this; there are limits to bi-dimensionality.  there is no criticism of the fact that all this is representational, no chiding for inaccuracies.  instead the parent lavishes praise on his child for the wonderful drawing and then puts it proudly on the refrigerator for the world to see. 
i got to wondering if my attempts at righteousness are like that: awkward, two-dimensional, imperfect, less-than-fully-articulated stabbings on the canvas of the universe.  the real thing is so much more complex, as my heavenly Father knows.  real righteousness involves elements and dimensions i can scarcely imagine; true goodness, true justice, absolute and perfect love, absolute perfect sacrifice, unhindered by time and space…my efforts are like those of a child, hampered by immaturity and physical limitation that produce, at best, sign posts pointing in the direction of the real thing.  yet my heavenly father accepts them for what they are, not because my efforts at righteousness are even remotely close to matching the real thing…but simply because it is his nature to lavish his love on me. let me rest in that...and continue to draw. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Rick! I needed to read this today:) Great insight to our Father's love:)