Being painted into being

beingpaintedintobeingAnita and I spent a few days on Minnesota’s north shore on Lake Superior. Everything we imagined wanting to be the case for those days was the case. The weather was unbelievably perfect. Zero humidity, the clearest and bluest sky imaginable, the Milky Way alive enough to reach out and touch, Aurora Borealis on display, the air, the trees; what can I say? Well, one morning as we hiked the High Falls on the Canadian border, I was overwhelmed and said, “It’s like stepping into a painting.” Not just seeing a beautiful painting on the wall, but the world actually becoming a living work of art, and you’re in it. I could no longer separate myself from what I saw, from the world I was in. I was the world I was in.

As hideously as the graphic from the previous post approximates the truth of the Void, this picture depicts the plenitude that lies beyond it – but only beyond it. Beyond the horizon of our absolute nothingness and our acknowledgment that existence is given, and that the only work there for us to do is say that it is so, there is the truth of the giver, a truth that is as satisfying in its power to define us as meaningfully as the Void is consuming in its meaninglessness. Once that painful journey is taken, life erupts out of nothing, breath fills your lungs, form and substance emerge from the dark, light fills the mind, and colors spill into the landscape. “All things are yours” (1Cor 3.21b-23), says Paul, “whether the world or life or death or the present or the future [what else is there?], all things are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”

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