As I walked along a neighborhood path the other morning, trying to think of all the people I want to pray for and feeling generally weighed down by what was happening throughout the world, something caught my eye. Upon inspection, I found a rock glistening in the sun. It glistened because it had been painted with glitter paint.
I began paying more attention and soon found another rock, this one painted like a jack o’lantern, and a third portraying a goofy face. My mood lifted and I found myself thanking God for the treat. I felt near happy-tears as I realized that my neighbors, children and families, had prepared this treat for me and others, to raise our spirits and remind us of whimsy, color, and the way glitter reflects the light of the sun. Every day, more art-rocks appear, reminders that children and families we don’t even know have created an ever-growing art-walk to cheer their neighbors.
Outcroppings of the arts are happening worldwide. In Italy, neighbors have taken to their balconies in song, joining their voices to remind each other they weren’t alone. In response, videos began cropping up out of China, a country also devastated by the catastrophe of COVID-19. Chinese people on the videos say, “Resist, Italy!” Even though you can’t see their mouths beneath the surgical masks, you can tell from their voices that they are smiling.
In Echoes of Eden, Jerram Barrs writes, The Creativity of others helps us enter into God’s creativity. . . . The arts enable us to look beyond ourselves and beyond the horizons of our own experience. They help us to stop being so self-centered. He offers five aspects of our creative calling:
• We are to seek to glorify God in all we do.
• We are designed to find fulfillment for ourselves in using, developing, and expressing the gifts God has so richly given us.
• We are to seek to be of benefit to others.
• In being creative, we are exercising our dominion over the earth.
• And in all we do, we are to set back the boundaries of the fall, to restrain the abnormality of our present human life in its brokenness and sorrow and of our present world that is under the curse and therefore resists our dominion.
I imagine a child of three in my neighborhood, setting back the boundaries of the fall with help from her mother by applying glitter paint on a rock and planting it on the side of the path to delight passersby. The treat of unexpected color and childish delight led me to consider the glory of God, that even in this dire time, He would work through the actions of a child to bring a little fun into her neighbors’ day.
The benediction Kyle gave last Sunday calls us to similar expressions of fellowship and service. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -Colossians 3:15-17
I hope you are cheered as well by the beauty of God’s creation, and by the delight of music and art. And who knows, maybe you too have an art-walk awaiting your stroll!
*Our son Daniel is a musician. I’d like to close this devotional mini-lesson with a song he wrote, and an accompanying stop-motion animated video he created, called “All That’s True.” (Click Here)