A Few Thank-Yous and a Wonderful Book…

First off, I don’t think I’ve ever said THANK YOU to all of you out there who take the time to read my blog.  Please forgive me.   I really do want to say THANK YOU for checking in from time to time to see what I’m up to, what my thoughts are, and what crafty things I’ve been up to.  Thank you for your patience as well, considering I am quite the sporadic blogger!

My other thank you is to my husband. He has been a wonderful encouragement to me as well as  my best critic.  He knows me so deeply and God uses him to cut straight to my heart and challenge me where I need to be challenged.  I’ve experienced this most recently in our conversations about the gifts God has given me as an artist.  I am certainly being pushed to break my own artistic boundaries and encouraged to experience the process of making art as a reflection upon the beauty that God has created (as the ultimate artist), and to create in a way that pleases Him rather than myself or seeking the approval of others.

For Christmas, my husband gave me a wonderful book by Makoto Fujimura called “Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture.”  (See my previous post for a video about Makoto)  I’m really enjoying the fact that this book is a collection of essays –  that means that I can actually finish reading something during my son’s nap time!  And I feel that my brain and heart are being well used!  His writing, like his artwork, is beautiful and inspiring.  Each essay includes a picture, more often of another Artist’s work, with a few of his own.  I highly recommend that you find yourself a copy!  Otherwise, be encouraged to hear that his essays are also available online!  Visit his website http://www.makotofujimura.com/

Here’s a little excerpt from one of his essays…just to whet your appetite…

 

“A Japanese pastor wrote that the most important message of Christmas is that Jesus was born as a babe, weak and vulnerable to the world. A baby is utterly dependent on a mother and a father, and others helping the baby to survive. Imagine, one who would claim to be the all-powerful Creator in flesh, becoming vulnerable and DEPENDENT on fallen human beings like us!

But when you think about it, a baby’s strength also lies in this weakness, as he or she draws people together. The message of Christmas is a paradox. It is through the weak that power is displayed. It is through the vulnerability, that true lasting security is gained. It is through being utterly dependent on others, that a true community is created.

The message of Christmas, then, can be applied to what we do as artists. What would our art look like if we truly believed that through our weaknesses, through even what we are ashamed of, we could create something that is lasting and meaningful, and incarnate hope back into the world. What if the power of a community is not in the display of power, but in the acknowledgement of our weaknesses? Artists can play an important role in helping a community to be authentic and honest. Japanese aesthetics already embraces the idea that weakness is beautiful: that what is wearing away and what is imperfect actually points to eternity.”

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