Art theory.

I'm so excited about the group of people who have joined in the art and faith conversation. Some from our church, a couple of Vineyard representatives and my favorite new person from Crossroads. Even before our first meeting face to face (and in Emily and Teresa's case, not yet face to face) I felt a familiarity with them. It's got to do with the art. Not the drawing/painting/sculpting stuff. I mean, for example, Brent's a musician but I have a very basic music knowledge, enough to pound out a tune on a piano if the music is written in a beginner's song book. There appears to be little in common on the very surface. But it's a way of thinking and seeing things. That's one reason why I enjoy reading Emily's blog ( Because she reminds me of Sherri, my friend from Cedar Ridge who was constantly seeing the God in unusual yet everyday scenarios. And once you see the God, you see the beauty. Sherri had this completely great analogy for living life. She used crayons as examples. I'm going to use it here and build on it a little.

Imagine two yellow crayons. One is brand new out of the box, pointy, perfectly yellow with clean yellow paper wrapped tightly around it. The other crayon is shorter, its tip is gone and is now a rounded end. The paper is torn down to expose more of the crayon after the tip wore down. The paper is probably streaked with other colors from being tossed in a bucket or bin instead of neatly placed back in it's original box. The crayon itself may have spots where other crayons rubbed against it when the bucket was jostled around.

Which crayon would you rather be? The brand-spankin'-new crayon that was so pretty or the torn up used stubby one? We, especially those of us who call ourselves artists, should aspire to be that stubby one. The one that has been used to create things bigger and better than themselves. Sometimes even coloring outside the lines (gasp!) The one that has been thrown in the mix, bears the marks of having spent time with others - some streaks of other colors that compliment yellow and some that totally contrast with it. Sometimes using that yellow crayon with other colors marked all over it can change the yellow when you use it - there may be some of the other colors mixed in if the marks went deeper than just the surface paper. A lot of times when that happens you find that you like the "new" yellow more than the original and you'd never have discovered it if you had a brand new one.

I used to have a beat all to hell yellow crayon pinned to my bulletin board, after my friend Betsy told me about hers and in honor of Sherri before we moved (it was one of the crayons for little kids, with the flat side so they wouldn't roll away.) That crayon's paper was half gone, it had red crayon marks all over it with some black, blue and brown as well. The tip was so worn that you couldn't tell which end had previously been the tip. You could tell that thing had done some serious coloring time. And that's what I want to be at the end of my life. Someone who's not afraid to get used by God to do some serious coloring, get in the mix with people who both compliment or contrast with myself to make something bigger than just my one original 'color.' I want to have not much left over, if at all. Crayons aren't meant to be bought and looked at then put back in the box. And neither are we.


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