Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Life Canvass

This beautiful painting was recently created in honor of World Peace and Prayer Day  by a First Nations woman to depict a Dakota / Lakota / Nakota prophecy. 

The rich, colorful texture of the painting drew me in.   Even if you were blind you would be able to enjoy this work of art with your fingertips.  It yelled "touch me" when I saw it!

The subject is inspired by the prophecy of a white buffalo calf being born which would signal a time when the Earth would be changing and the Hoop of All Nations would be mended as the four colors come together.  Even if I don't understand the subject or believe in the prophecy I can appreciate the beauty in the painter. Art makes no apology -- it simply tells a story and allows you to engage or not engage. This painting got me thinking: What if we treated each  like a work of art?

What if we could share our faith in the same manner someone would share a unique tapestry.  Instead of hiding the art in the closet, afraid that someone wouldn't like it and be offended or be critical, what if we just hung it out and allowed the viewer to choose to engage or not engage.

Can you envision a community where people would stop avoiding the topics of faith...where people would feel free again to pray... where people shared discussions about deep-seated values.  The current socially correct "Avoidance and Silence" technique hasn't delivered connection.  The strategy to prevent offense has also prevented engagement and relationship.  It would be like a community without art or music.

Perhaps what we really need is bulk unhurried time for people to share what is in their core, to open up and show the art.  As we listening to each other share about deep-seated traditions and beliefs, we would have an opportunity to really honor each other.  Perhaps we would begin to look at each others' life tapestry like a work of art.  And maybe, like this painting you'd be able to experience the beauty of God's tapestry even if you're blind.