What Katherine Figured Out
October 6, 2009 § 2 Comments
Yesterday Katherine and I drove to Washington DC to enjoy the National Gallery of Art, a huge, two-complex structure that houses some of the most treasured historical collections from around the world. For over two hours we walked from room to room, discussing exhibits, sneaking sound bytes from tour guides, and critiquing paintings and sculptures of the masters. We saw Van Gogh’s famous self-portrait (pictured here), Picasso’s ‘cubism’ and Monet’s pastoral paintings, to name a few.
Unfortunately I’m one of those typical husbands that sees art as a spectacular game winning, toes-barely-in-bounds reception on the gridiron. For me it should be ‘so simple a caveman can do it.’ So if you were listening in it wouldn’t be a stretch for you to hear me ask Katherine, ‘What is that,’ or ‘This is good?’ You get the picture (though I didn’t)…
At some point I asked her how the value of each piece is determined. Is it that someone in some important artsy circle just says, ‘This is valuable!’ and then it is?
How does it work? Because for some of these folks’ works to be worth millions I would have thought that the faces could look a little less or a little more – something – I don’t know! Is it that an artist was the first to paint smiley faces on city scenes (you think I’m kidding…)? Can a can of Campbell’s Soup be that exquisite?
So, as we walked, we talked about it – about how some things had never before been done – how some artists stretched the limits, or were the first to venture into certain mediums, etc.
And then Katherine said something that immediately rang true – she said that these are not photographs that can be retouched or airbrushed – that the artists painted imperfectly and that there is something beautiful in their imperfect offerings.
Right there I knew that she got it right (either that, or she figured out how to finally shut me up). I still don’t get all of it – but I like the fact that history has attached value to the imperfect.
Because I’m imperfect as well as unfinished. And no airbrush can erase those broken and ugly blemishes that mark my life story. Only Christ can – and has. And He did it without asking or requiring me to first fix myself. All that mattered to Him was that in the Father’s eyes, and by His own intentions that I’ll never fully understand until I get ‘home,’ in His estimation I have great value (Deuteronomy 7:6 – “…The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”)
What news could be better?