We all look at the world, but a painter sees it. We all walk past the same wonders, but a painter pauses to absorb them. We all allow the splendour to wash over us, but a painter gathers it and then displays it.
The painter's great aim is to capture a moment in time, one that the world may pass by a thousand times without notice, and display it in all its inherent beauty in order that that which was not adored may be forever celebrated. It is not the painter's aim to scientifically record and present; not to produce a report and read it out; nor to simply describe. A painter observes a fragment of the world—maybe a simple flower or rusting hinge—and so presents that fragment in such a way that we too may behold the beauty that we'd never noticed.
For a painter, everything is considered and weighed: composition, tone, texture, and warmth. All are slowly layered together to build an image that simultaneously reflects beauty and points back to the source. The painter employs artistry through technique and tool. Subtle hues, bold lines, and gentle strokes are woven together with a carefully selected palette. And though we may marvel at the skill and technique, these are never the great artist's aim.
The great artist desires your awe.
He longs for you to see the world as he sees it. He aches for you to catch a glimpse of the glory.
Oh, that we would see a new generation of men who would preach like a painter.
The world wanders through its given course, surrounded by glory, yet they are blind to the wonder of it all.
The church, given the greatest treasure in the universe, whittles its time away distracted by the shiny trinkets of this age, all the while the awe of heaven's majesty goes unnoticed.
Preacher, show your church the wonder. Preach like a painter. Take your tools and take your technique and bend them to the cause of Christ. Roll out the canvas each week and present before your people an image of the divine, reflect the glories of eternity into their faces, labour to present what has always been there, but to this point ignored.
God has spoken. His voice has been recorded. Let the full splendour of his majesty fill your canvas with all its subtle hues, bold lines, and gentle strokes.
Give your people awe. Reflect the glory. Point to its source. Make them stop and see the beauty.
Preach like a painter.
Photo: Olivier Engel; flickr