Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Blue Acrylic Under My Nails...

Paint, that is. And I can't get it out! Actually, my entire arms are all covered in spots of various shades, from working on the murals for VBS. I was quite happy with the end result, though I'm not finished-- one more "tile" to go! After yet another job interview, I headed over to the church to help Sina & some of the other ladies with the artistic preparations for the event. I spent the afternoon there (*I* didn't have small children to put to nap), with my CD player-- two sermons, some Israeli music, and a new book on CD, A Gathering of Days. It's good! I was like "now THIS is why to not have a job: so I can paint for VBS, just me & Words, praying over the murals, all day, for as long as I want." Sina and I also decided that it's therapeutic to create, when both of us are feeling the overwhelmed-discouraged combo of having very LITTLE control, or even ability to foresee. You can control paintbrushes!! ;D

We're short on artisanry and craftsmanship these days, have you noticed? Ever since industrialization, it's become more about convenience and efficiency. Hmm-- I just thought of this, but to harken back to my previous post, we've become more interested in the destination (and fast!), and have forgotten about the journey. I've also realized that the way I read is way too much like the way I eat: I inhale it, rather than savoring it. Rather than noticing the craft of it... [those of you from IBC, think the spices and curries of the nations, from last Sunday's sermon]

The past couple weeks have had me re-digesting the Harry Potter series. Anna read some to me, I read some before I left, and now I'm HUGELY enjoying listening to The Goblet of Fire (#4) on CD. But beyond that, I've been researching the books on a more scholarly level. There's way more to those stories than little me, with my eye on "how will it turn out?" had noticed...and along the way, I'm realizing how much more depth there is to OTHER books I've enjoyed, too, like Pride & Prejudice (which I'm reading now) and CS Lewis' Space Trilogy (which I read last term).... It’s so cool to see the...there's no other word for it: craft... JK Rowling uses. I mean these books are so much more complex than I ever thought before. I want to learn what makes good stories so good; like, why CS Lewis was so compelling— why when you read him, you know he’s right. I want to learn to do that. Maybe someday I can write books that people can relate to...that help them realize that it’s Jesus they’re relating to. (I think these Harry Potter books will do that in the end, whether people realize it or not. They certainly are NOT Satanic, that’s for sure.)

On the topic of entertainment, which art is, here is some stuff I found very helpful, an excerpt from my friend's blog-- a pastor up in Philadelphia named Matt Foreman--hey! I marked this to post about a while ago, and re-reading it, I see that it has the "journey" motif I've been chewing on the past few days. Ashley-- what you think?

"...Our culture is so addicted to entertainment as escapism that it can be easy to assume automatically that entertainment is a bad thing. Edgar writes to redeem entertainment as a primary way of celebrating our creation in the image of God.

He notes that the word “Entertainment” comes from a French word meaning ‘to converse.’ Edgar writes, “To be entertained is to be maintain a conversation. With what? Negatively, it is mere babble or chatter. But in the biblical sense, it is a conversation . . . with eternity. Amazingly, while you are a sojourner here on earth, you may still keep a conversation going with heaven. C.S. Lewis reminds us of the hard journey of the Christian life. Like the man on horseback, we struggle along the rocky path. But then we come across an inn, and can take some rest. The inn reminds us that the journey is not the whole point, but the destination is. God has given us many inns along the way to our destination as so many reminders of His large purposes of grace. The duty of a good innkeeper is to entertain—to provide a warm bed, a good meal, and some music. Entertainment need not be simply comfort and rest. It may be instructive as well. The inns should be well stocked with educational resources, like books . . . Books and music carry a beauty, but are only images of the thing itself, which is glory. Real entertainment, then, is a profound reflection of the presence of God . . .”

A necessary and encouraging and liberating reminder. Perhaps the gift of hospitality is really an ability to provide entertainment that provides refreshment because it brings us into the presence of God."

--"Entertainment Can Be Godly" (June 16, 2006)

Any thoughts?
--Christina in Kentucky


Ashley Brennan said...

Hey, Christina--

Here's something I read recently that goes with the theme of journeys and destinations.

"The truth is [in our lives] God tends to take us from point A to point Z through points B, C, D, E, and so on. In other words, we don't just arrive somewhere; we go through a process along the way. God uses the intermediate experiences to mold us into who He wants us to be. Often this period of uncertainty is training for our trusting Him ... God is as much concerned with our development as He is with our direction."

Eowyn's Heir said...

that's good! And that also goes along with craftsmanship; God is the Master Craftsman, and He won't be rushed!

That sounds familiar, too...where is it from? (is it Ben Patterson's "Waiting"?)

Eowyn's Heir said...

From Matt Foreman:

Thanks for quoting me quoting someone else - these are true signs that we are humble people. [LOL, I say]

Ashley Brennan said...

No ... it's from the book "Twenty Someone."