Whether you’re celebrating the birth of Christ or not, there’s no mistaking that Christmas is near.  My husband is the Creative Arts Director at The Orchard Community, and today’s message was fittingly on Advent and the Incarnation.  After my husband led music, he slipped in the seat beside me so that we could listen to the sermon together.  As part of his message, our lead pastor, Scott Hodge, did an art critique of sorts and (therefore) was showing examples of various artwork up on the screen as he spoke. I found his words on the Incarnation fascinating and intriguing and was intently listening and glancing up at the screen when suddenly my husband leaned over and said “You do see the artist painting on that large canvas at the far left side of the stage, right?”
Despite the fact that we were sitting on the far left side of the room, the large canvas and artist had been completely out of my vision.  It just took a slight turn of my head and some brief scanning for me to see the artist, Stephen Signa, actually an old friend of ours, painting this incredible abstract masterpiece:

Once Stephen and the canvas were within my sight, I was entranced by the creativity that was unfolding, but I also had to stifle my laughter.  Not at the art, but at the sheer fact that this painting (yes, spotlight and all!) was taking place right in front of me for quite some time, and how I almost missed it entirely.  Honestly, if Ben hadn’t pointed it out, he probably would have mentioned the painting after church and received a blank stare from me (definitely reminds me of the awesome RP analogy someone passed on to me that I’ve mentioned in a prior post– RP is seeing a tiny piece of paper across the room but tripping over an elephant on the way to pick it up!)

When the laughter in my head finally contained itself, a question popped in:  how many paintings in the periphery of life do I miss?  RP or not, how many do we all miss?

Turn your head slightly today.  Scan your eyes till you see it.  Allow someone to lean over and point it out to you.  Seek beauty that isn’t obvious, and find wonder in a Season that may have become stale to the eyes after waiting in too many lines at Target or staring at too many “have-to-buys” on Amazon.

(and if you want to be intrigued anew about art or Advent, check out Scott Hodge’s 12/03/11 message on The Orchard’s podcast… it should be up sometime this week)

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10 thoughts on “Paintings in the Periphery

  1. Great post, Joy. It was a beautiful service, and the finished piece is amazing! I saw it on Saturday and then at 9am this morning and it looked nothing like this! I am already loving this series for urging us to slow down and enjoy this amazing season of Advent. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Thanks Tammy! Yes, I”m curious to see how the other two turned out– I hope someone took pictures of those too! Looking forward to our meeting (if we can ever find a day that works!) 🙂

    • Sure.. on a very ugly t-shirt. ha ha. Sorry I was chasing children when I saw you– I had wanted to tell you what an amazing job you did singing this morning– I just love your voice, and that song from the 90s won’t get out of my head now! 🙂

      • Thank you! Your girls were so cute dragging those seats around!! Doug and I were laughing that now “oldies” songs are from the 90s.

  2. Joy,
    Again, you inspire me and make me laugh! Thanks so much for your beautiful post.
    I have heard it said this way, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
    Grateful hugs,
    Kevin Kuhn

  3. Hi Joy!
    Great story!! And I’m glad the quote I passed along to you has stuck with you – it is such a good way to describe our experiences with RP. And in case you missed it, one of my posts on our Facebook Usher Me In page was, in part, as follows:

    Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn, builder of the Mirage and Bellagio, has RP. In 2006, he was showing off a Picasso he had just sold for $139 million when he accidentally poked his elbow through it.

    Not the same thing as your story, but I figured you would appreciate the travails of RP and artwork! 🙂

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    • Thanks Roberta! Sorry I’m just now getting the chance to respond to December comments– I guess I’ve taken an extra long holiday vacation! The story about Steve Wynn makes me smile, nod and cringe! I hope the person still bought the painting! 🙂 Hope January is treating you well!

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