Have you ever felt entranced by an image, metaphor, or song? Art creates an experience. It resonates with us on a different level. God created art and gave us the ability to create and enjoy it in all its forms.
Have you ever been inside a church that had biblical scenes painted on the ceiling, walls, or windows? Have you ever wondered about stained glass windows? Centuries ago the church created stained glass depictions of the Bible to teach its message to an illiterate community. Visual art was the key to teaching people who could not read. But could it also speak to us today when the Bible is hard to understand?
Art and faith
The power of art is that it can connect with us on a different level of our psyche. In Protestantism, the church neglected the use of visual art as a tool to communicate the scriptures. We use devotionals and books that tell us how to pray, and how to interpret scripture, but what if we also need to learn just how to be with the scripture?
For me personally, I have always found it easier to explain myself with visuals rather than words. I think it is because color has a language of its own. At a young age we are taught to associate colors with certain feelings. For instance we know what it means to feel blue. Color has the power to connect us with our true feelings. What would it look like if we let God resonate with us through color?
Art creates content that resonates with people. Art creates an interpersonal relationship kind of like the relationship God wants to create with us. I think art has the ability to connect us to the complexity and awesomeness of God.
Have you ever found yourself so amazed by a piece of art that you would do anything to get it?
You would drop countless dollars, go to extensive measures just to gain possession of this piece of art that feels like home to you. Or maybe the work of art is calling you to action. Maybe the art disturbs you, and it sheds light on an area of yourself that needs to be addressed. What if we let God speak through our art? What if we let God be the content, and let us stand in amazement of his work?
God's handiwork surrounds us every day, but sometimes we forget to open our eyes to see it. When I first step foot out the door in the morning, and I see all the magnificent colors of the flowers and trees I am reminded of the glory of God. When I feel the cool morning air hit my lungs on my first breath I know that the Lord's praises will be on my exhale. How wonderful is it that every morning the Lord greets us with the sun?
We are mostly literate today. We can access and read the Bible. We can even listen to it on the go in any translation or language on our smartphones. But do we ever take the time to just be with the word? Do you ever find yourself painting a picture with the colors of your mind of what God is trying to say? As a culture that is so consumed with the hustle and bustle of everyday life it is easy to just look for the quick verses of encouragement to get ourselves through the day. In scripture, there is more than just words of encouragement on a page. There is a story of love and life that is depicted in rich colors.
Ever since COVID, I have found myself going at a slower pace. I now have the time to paint what I want to paint. I now have the time to use art to approach God. The beautiful blend of colors and faith have been a blessing that I can share with others around me. It has been such a beautiful thing to see how my artful interpersonal relationship with God can also resonate with the hearts of others.
I am thankful for how God has always used art to reach out to the ones who couldn’t find the words to speak. I believe that art represents the complexity of the divine, and how powerful God’s love is for us.
Madison Myers is a student at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, majoring in marketing. She has traveled to a majority of America's National Parks and is eager to see them all.