Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Perspective. Part 2

After my incredible experience in Central Park, my journey for beauty soon continued on to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in Midtown. I have never been a huge fan of modern art, but when I heard that the MoMa contained an exhibit of Monet's Water Lilies and other pieces, I knew immediately that I had to go and see the paintings first hand.

I have been utterly fascinated with Monet’s paintings ever since I was little girl. Thanks to my sweet mother’s influence, Monet quickly became my favorite painter. I knew as a child that Monet was her favorite artist and because I adored my mother and wanted to be just like her, naturally, as with most idolizing young ones, he quickly became my favorite too. My mother had a copy of Monet’s Poppy Field hanging in her bedroom, regally placed above a fireplace. I used to stare at it with admiration, wondering who the mysterious women in the painting was and what her relationship was like with the child running behind her. 

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As I grew older, my love for Monet  eventually became my own; however, I do still love that to this day my Mom and I both share a special love for this artist and the style of Impressionism in general. While traveling with one of my best friends in Europe this past summer (more to come on that in later blog entries), I had the once-in-a-lifetime pleasure of seeing some of Monet’s original Water Lilies in Paris at the Musee de’ Orsee and then got to experience his water lilies in real life at his Japanese garden at his home in Giverny, France just a few days later!

The only word that I can use to describe this experience is surreal. I could not believe that I was getting to see with my own eyes the lilly pond that Monet had painted these world famous paintings from. It was such a breathtaking experience and complete honor to get to take a tour of his home and gardens.  

After seeing his original paintings up close in Paris and his personal gardens in Giverny, I knew that I would really enjoy seeing other originals at the MoMa.

As soon as I stepped into the exhibit, I knew I had made the right choice. Immediately upon looking at the paintings, I was flooded with such an overwhelming sense of peace and solace.  Isn’t it absolutely amazing how God can use the arts to display His glory and speak to our souls in ways that words just can’t?

Photo: My Own from the MoMa Monet Gallery (Monet's Water Lilies)
Photo: My own from the MoMa Monet Gallery (Monet's Water Lilies)
Photo: My own from the MoMa Monet Gallery (Monet's Water Lilies)
Photo: My own from the MoMa Monet Gallery (Monet's Agapanthus)
 The beauty placed before me was breathtaking. I love to get up close to these paintings to see the brush strokes and the way the light hits the canvas from different angles. The thing with Impression though, is that when you look at it up close, it truly looks like just a bunch of dots and random color squiggles. There is no picture to be seen when one’s eyes are right up close in the midst of the painting. In order to see the beauty of the painting and the actual picture that the artist is depicting, one must step back and look at the painting from a distance…from a further perspective. This is precisely why I have always loved Impressionism and have been drawn to Monet’s work in particular. When it is looked at up close, it  truly looks like a mess. But when it is looked at from a further vantage point, suddenly it transforms into a whimsical work of beauty; a day dream in our happiest subconscious come to life. 

As I began to step forward and backward looking at Monet’s paintings in this gallery, the Lord began to speak clearly to me. He reminded me of how the vantage points of our life are exactly the same as these paintings. When we are in the midst of our circumstances and everyday living, we look around us and all we see right in front of us are the blobs of random color, awkward swirls, and messy brushstrokes that make absolutely no sense to us at all. But what happens when we take a step back, a step out of our current surroundings, and gain a perspective from a much further vantage point? 

We see the beauty of the whole picture.

The Lord says to the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do now know” (NKJV).

Is not this amazing promise from God one that we can cling hold of and act upon today? As His sons and daughters, we can call upon Him for fresh vision and new perspective. As human beings our vision is limited. His vision is limitless. He answers us and shows us great and mighty things that we could have never known and seen otherwise…He shows us the bigger picture.

Are you caught in a place right now where all you see are swirls of confusion and frustration without any real picture? Call upon the Lord.  Do you feel shortsighted in your vision for your life in 2014? Call upon the Lord.

Call upon Him and ask Him to show you His plans and His purposes for this season of your life from a further perspective. Ephesians 2:6 states, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (NIV). When you have given your life to Jesus, the Bible tells us that we become seated in heavenly places with Him; therefore we can see our life and our purposes from heaven’s perspective. Colossians 3:1-2 puts it even better, saying, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth” (NLT).

Set your sights on the realities of heaven.

Heaven’s reality, heaven’s truth, and heaven’s perspective are always supposed to be what guides us and influences our mind and our sight; never the schmuck of the earth. After all, aren’t we called to walk be faith and not by sight? (2 Cor 5:7).

The swirling colors and seemingly messy paint strokes that you may see right now are not the reality of heaven. The reality of heaven is the entire picture. And it is beautiful. Even if you are in what appears to be a total mess this very moment, take heart that it will be made beautiful, for we know that He makes all things new (Rev. 21:5). "I am in Christ and therefore a new creation; old things have passed away and all things are made new" (2 Cor 5:17).

Today, tonight, and every moment to follow, seize hold of the vantage point that is truly and legally yours through Jesus. Stop living as those you are stuck on ground level, stuck in the painted muck. Peer down from heaven and SEE.

See the masterpiece of your life that the Father himself is painting just for you. It is not just a bunch of dots and aimless squiggles. It is a masterpiece.

You are a masterpiece.

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