I enjoy and appreciate art in all its forms.
I truly believe that unique art appears all around us in our day to day lives. If only we have eyes to see.
I first awakened to this idea about three years ago.
I found myself noticing our daughter-in-law, Mary’s hands and the way they moved when she changed our granddaughter, Eliza’s diaper. The routine chore looked like art to me. Her lovely slim hands gently, carefully and naturally smoothed and fastened the diaper around the precious bundle. I’d never thought of this before. It got me to thinking about other times I’ve observed such art.
I thought of my sweet mom—how I miss her and how she would have revelled in our sweet grandchildren. I remembered all the mending she did for me when she came for a visit. It was a needed contribution of time and effort. She’d hem dresses, sew on buttons, and make repairs when I couldn’t seem to find the time. I can still see those lovely aging hands (the same ones I see on myself now), gracefully, patiently using the needle, thread and that ancient thimble that she’d preach “you can’t sew without!”
I also thought of our daughter, Katherine, and how her hand so gracefully and intuitively moves along a canvas, a board or envelope with her lovely fluid hand writing. It’s a splendid gift; an art.
These things have me reminding myself to look for “art” more inclusively and more gratefully.
I love what Oswald Chambers has to say.
“At the basis of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is the unaffected loveliness of the commonplace.”
We’re wowed by the famous and beautiful! We find disparities between us and them and the wind goes out of our sails as we’re navigating in our little world. Let’s stop that. Let’s look close by and open our eyes to the art at hand.
The next time you see a young daddy snap his daughter into her pjs; his smile beaming with swelling love, just think of the gloriousness of the God-designed family.
Observe the routine flow and flair of the seasoned homemaker as she cleans her kitchen, after serving love up to her people.
What about the art of teaching? The teacher daily responds with patience and dogged determination to fight for her kids. The caring consistent voice on which her students come to depend remind them that they are valued and they are going to succeed. When relationship and trust form between student and teacher it’s awesome to behold.
A mama reading to her toddler; the gentleness with which they touch, the familiar smells, the unique sound of mama’s voice— the dialect, that’ll always be comfort and affirmation for the precious recipient.
I started to think of more ways art is evident.
The repairman who “restored” our fridge was both skillful and kind; graciously answering all of my questions with a smile.
My friend, Renee; the way she serves up tasty homemade chili in her one of a kind pottery bowls. Everything she cooks is delicious; more so because of the relaxed flair and love that go along with the experience.
I thought of Barbara and how she mentored me in the art of devotional reading and listening. I can still remember sitting in her yard, kids running all around us, while we read J.B. Phillips’ version of the New Testament. It wasn’t just a book. It was bread and life.
When I’m with my dermatologist I feel like I’m the only one that matters at that moment. She’s affirming, thorough, decisive; calm; a great listener. I don’t know how she does it with her swamped schedule. But I happen to know she treats all her patients the same way.
My long time friend Nancy’s art of listening is a treasure to me. She appears to plan conversations as appointments in her day and then employs them as life-giving ministry. I want to be a better listener for others as she’s been to me.
What if we vacuum, dust, and clean toilets with the notion that God has given us these magnificent bodies to express our worship and gratitude by offering up our everyday-ness as art?
I’m folding towels, painting furniture and writing a letter to a friend. This is my calling today–my place and my art. Join with me as we celebrate each other along the journey, spurring on the unique “artists” around us!
“Teach me to shepherd the small duties of this day with great love.”