Page 9 - EMCAPP-Journal No. 12
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Kingdom,  I  might  reflect  him  in  everything.   retreat  from  one  another  and  from  ourselves,
             I do this by first thinking relationally. My fri-  to  states  of  disintegration,  but  art  can  call  us
             end Larry Crabb says that if the Bible could be   back to the beauty of wholeness. In his excellent
             summed up in one word, that word would be         book,  Culture  Care  (2017),  Makoto  Fujimura
             „relationship.“ Ours is a Trinitarian faith. The   asks, “Artists in the last century have been func-
             Trinity  has  always  existed  in  perfect  relation-  tioning in society to reveal brokenness; in this
             ship. As Jesus was praying for his disciples, he   century, can they lead the way toward recon-
             expressed his desire that his followers might re-  nection, reconciliation, and reintegration?” Re-
             late in the same way that he and the father relate   gardless of our vocation, can we stretch towards
             within the Trinity (John 17:22). Crabb calls this   reconciliation, fullness, and shalom? The road
             the “relational glory of God.” As a husband, I    will be bumpy, but it is a road we must travel.
             ask myself what the Trinity has to say about our
             marriage. As a father, I need to remind myself    Third question: would you like to add
             that my children bear the image of God. Na-       something about your Christian identity?
             turally, this Trinitarian view should extend to
             other relationships as well--friendships, clients,   During my childhood, I lived in a town of four
             and those I meet on the street. I believe it is im-  churches in the Dutch reformed tradition and
             portant to ask myself whether I am intentional-   fewer than 2000 people. Growing up, I felt as
             ly recognizing the duality of being God‘s image   though there were more substantial differences
             bearers, but also living in a creation affected by   between these church bodies than there actual-
             the fall. If we can hold beauty and brokenness    ly were. When I was exposed to other denomi-
             in tandem, I think we can more effectively love   nations, it became clear to me that the simila-
             others.                                           rities superseded the differences. What I have
             I  have  also  been  intentional  about  thinking   become  aware  of  over  time  is  that  doctrinal
             through  wholeness  in  creative  endeavors.  I   differences often get in the way of loving one
             published a book of poetry, Soil of the Divine    another  well.  Increasingly,  I  am  coming  to  a
             (2017).  One  of  my  guiding  principles  was  to   place where I recognize our shared humanity.
             press into the biblical ideal of shalom. A com-   Christ‘s table contains great variety. I recently
             mon understanding of shalom is that it means      did a watercolor I titled Everyday Wonder that
             peace, but in reality, the term is much broader.   features a folding table, cheap white bread, and
             In his book Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be,      a jug of grape juice. I want believers to recogni-
             Cornelius Plantinga Jr. (1996) described shalom   ze the miracle of the beauty and glory of Christ
             as “the way things ought to be”--in other words,   present in common elements. Christ pervades
             wholeness. Again, my writing tends to contrast    our common humanity. As we begin to reco-
             living in a broken world with the longing each    gnize the image of Christ in every person we
             of us feels for this sense of completeness, which   encounter it helps us to open our eyes to the
             is  found  only  in  Christ.  I  recently  painted  a   magnificence and wonder of God. I resonated
             picture, The Ministry of Reconciliation, which    with David Benner in the introduction to his
             contrasts  red  and  blue  villages,  reflecting  our   book Human Being and Becoming (2016): „I
             political  divisions.  At  center,  combining  blue   have gone from being a dogmatic fundamen-
             and red, there is a purple church, which reads    talist to a Christian who holds his beliefs with
             „Peace“  above  the  door.  My  hope  in  painting   humility  as  I  journey  with  those  of  any  faith
             this  picture  was  to  represent  the  hope  of  the   or none; from someone whose primary identi-
             church to bring unity to a world that is so often   fication was with fellow religionists to one who
             divided.                                          now feels a profound solidarity with all humans.
             I find that although my motive to pursue shalom   I  cannot  say  that  I  am  no  longer  invested  in
             is intact, my brokenness often gets in the way. I   boundaries or in emphasizing uniqueness, but
             desire to live a true, good, and beautiful life, but   I can say that I am much more oriented toward
             those desires are mixed up with my own sin and    similarities  and  connections  and  the  sense  of
             the sin of others against me. Since the fall, we   belonging that comes with this.“ Ultimately, in

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