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Art and Life, or What My Kid Sister Taught Me About God

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This is the picture I got from my little sister Jennifer two days ago. She’s on a trip for work in Portland, Oregon, snapping photos and writing her blog for the women’s line of Carhartt, craftedincarhartt.tumblr.com. You would love it. Check it out.

But back to my life lesson.

Jenny has always been artsy. I wish I could post a picture of the caricature she drew of Jim Carry at art camp in like 1997 (age 10). It’s awesome. He’s stuffing his face with junk food, and the caption reads, “Somebody stop me!”

Art camp gold.

As the years have gone by, her talent has only grown. In college, though, she started doing strange things to pictures, like superimposing one on another. I didn’t get it. To this classical art lover, it looked like a bunch of crazy.

Not that I don’t like my share of crazy.

When I married my husband, I knew I got a great catch. But I didn’t know that he liked crazy art. He seemed to think everything my sister made was awesome. (I thought it was neat but I didn’t understand it.) They would talk about art they liked and I listened. Sort of.

Maybe it was because I felt left out that I started really listening to their conversations. Maybe I started to look at not just Jennifer’s art differently but also the (strange) creations of others. And maybe I started to get it. Probably not, though.

Okay, I may not have started to ‘get’ it, the superimposed photography and the like, but I did start to like it. I liked the way the colors blended and were juxtaposed. I started to wonder about why she chose these two shots to go together. And slowly, I started to learn from it.

My sister and I have so many differences but we both love to create. Sometimes it has been a challenge to get along because she always calls me out on any insincerity in my life. And I am really thankful for that. She has taught me so much about loyalty, honesty, forgiveness, and sisterhood.

But I finally realized something about our relationship when I was thinking about the picture (above) that she sent me. Two images superimposed–it’s a microcosm of life. Blurred edges and strange complements flirt with mystery. I enjoy searching out her heart in the art a lot like I enjoy searching out the nature and character of God. It’s a messy world but it is so beautiful, even when (especially when) it doesn’t fit into my mold of ‘what should be.’ God doesn’t do things in boxes most of the time.

Love you, sister.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to seek it out. Proverbs 25:2


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