My niece, Katie, has been writing about her semester studying art in Liverpool (on her personal blog) and I’m sharing some of her posts here (if you missed the others, you can put her name in the search box and find them all). I think you’ll enjoy hearing her heart and traveling with her overseas for a bit.
Here’s Katie ~
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A good view of blue skies, mountains, and pine trees was way overdue. Saturday I got to explore Loch Lomond in Scotland. It was a beautiful breath of fresh air. I spent hours walking on trails without any sound of city buses or sirens in the background.
When I first got there in the morning, it was really wet—rainy, foggy, and cloudy. The lake was beautiful, and I didn’t realize that there was a whole mountain range that I was missing because of all the fog. As soon as I started walking back for a lunch break, the sun came out. In a matter of moments the fog lifted, and the sky opened up. The snow scattered mountains were revealed, and I turned around to quickly make my way to back to the best view, in fear that the clouds might come back.
I got to the view, the spot where I had taken pictures before, but I still wanted to find a wider view of all the mountains across the lake. I was aiming for a peninsula I saw further down the lake, but the main trail turned before it got to there, so I continued on a less worn trail.
I never found that perfect view, but I did get to venture on a small Scottish trail.
Why Do I Choose Darkness?
A day later, I was out of Scotland and back to Liverpool—back to city life, back to school, and back to a world where people drift to darkness. Lately God has been turning my attention to how Jesus is the one, true light. It makes me wonder why I so often choose darkness instead of light. Why do I let my unsatisfying idols come between me and Him? Why don’t I simply take delight in the true light, who is full of grace and truth?
I guess it’s our nature as humans to choose darkness instead of light. The world praises the darkness, even though we are hungering for light. I hope it doesn’t bother anyone that I even bring this perspective up, but the art world today is a perfect example of this, and it’s recently been an issue on my mind.
Incapable of Creating Anything New
Modern art tends to be very dark. Just stepping in a modern art museum has made me feel sick with the weight of the darkness. I don’t understand why some artists view this as a good thing. Maybe it’s because we feel like we have to be more original and weird than the last person in order to do something new and significant. But the truth is, we’re incapable of creating anything completely new.
Is it so bad that I enjoy something old, like impressionist art? Can’t old be the new “new”? Some old, classic genres of art really displayed the beauty and light that God has given us in this life. I’m inspired by that and would like to do that in a new way from my own, unique perspective.
That’s what I would like to do, but I have the same problem as the rest of the world. I’m prone to drift towards darkness. I have to hold onto the one true light. “No Compromise,” as Keith Green would say. I can’t compromise from giving God my time, my efforts, my artwork, my heart, and my life. I have to constantly surrender it all back to Him. He created it, and it belongs to Him. He is the only real artist. The rest of us can only pretend to be original.
HOW YOU CAN PRAY:
1) That Jesus would crush the idols of my heart and reign as my one, true light.
2) For grace to work hard and serve Him humbly.
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Katie was looking for the perfect view on her trail in Scotland, but she’s described for us the only perfect view available. The world will try to skew our perspective and offer a stilted or hazy outlook that distorts reality, but the one true and perfect view is only available when the light of Christ shines full force dissipating the fog and darkness.
Thank you for praying for Katie. She’s touched by your kindness (and I am, too!).
Photo Credit: Katie Stanage