Thursday, 3 April 2014

Articulation (a longing for)

Ever tried to explain the colour blue to someone who's colourblind? Or the flavour of avocado to someone who's only ever tasted beef-jerky & candy corn?

It kinda how trying to explain my faith feels at times.

It's not that there aren't solid, reasonable reasons for why I believe what I do but, at the end of the day, they're only highlights at the end of the reel. There's historical data that's as reliable (or better) as anything else we're got from the period(s) in question, there's logics and arguments, there's testimonies & anecdotes from people I believe and can trust to not be stretching the truth, there's even examples in my own life of some pretty outrageous stuff that satisfactorily fits into the framework of a Christian understanding that would be difficult to account for otherwise.

But at the end of the day, if I'm brutally honest, that's not why I believe.

I believe because however I come at things, whichever way I twist and try to pretend that I'm a completely impartial, rational being, in the final count it all boils down to my simply being in love with my saviour.

How crazy is that? I mean, there's no real way to explain it to someone else --no way I can 'impart' my love of something (or rather, Someone) to others-- and hence to anyone who is not also in love with Jesus the whole thing comes across as ludicrous.

And while I guess on some level I'm resigned to that fact; at another, deeper, level I'm pretty torn up by it. "How can something that gets me in such a profound fashion leave those around me so untouched?" It confuses and (at times) devastates me.

And it's at this point that, I think, art comes in. Art (paining, music, dance, drawing, writing, composition in all its forms, etc.) offers a glimpse, a Zen view if you will, of worlds that would otherwise remain closed to the viewer; a peek, as it were, into the ineffable.

For me, being in the conscious presence of God is akin to being on fire "and yet the flames did not consume the bush". Trying to explain with plain text gets a little hard after that, so here's a song by the excellent Switchfoot that at least captures some part of the experience:


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