As designers and artists our work is created to be seen. We labour over size and scale, search for the perfect colour palette, consider how light (or the absence of it) will change or transform a work, and feel it’s complete only when we have peeled it back just one more layer…or we’ve simply run out of time ;). While our names may never be known our work can live on long after us, telling an unspoken narrative to those whose eyes cross it.
Earlier this year I travelled to the UK and as a typical first-time visitor, I explored every old castle, art gallery and every other cultural tour available. There was so much to squeeze into a short trip, yet I found myself repeatedly drawn back to the grand Cathedrals of old. Lingering far behind any tour guide, I was captivated by their beauty and couldn’t help but sense God in His grandness and majesty. The fine attention to detail left me imagining who the artisans might have been that dreamt it, built it, sculpted it, painted it. What inspired them? What motivated them?
Several cathedrals later, I found myself in this old medieval minster. Marked with over 300 stain glass panels it truly was a space purposed for light. Gazing up from the foot of a glass wall the size of a tennis court, I had to again question whether all this beauty and detail I’d been loving was worthwhile or wasteful. Then I read this description below the window, “The window’s fine details, far too tiny to see from the floor, were originally intended for God’s eyes only.”
And it’s this thought that still lingers … “Originally intended for God’s eyes only.”
It’s made me question my own contribution. In this Instagramable world, what’s my original intention when I create? Whose eyes do I hope see it?
I pray that as artisans our intent would always first and foremost be for His eyes. That in the wrestle of what idea to bring and what work to develop we would long to bring our best to Jesus first, as a sacrifice of worship.
Stage & Design Manager, Hillsong Church
P.S. if you are thinking about coming to our first ever Worship & Creative Conference in November – stop thinking – just come 🙂 You’ll thank yourself later.
Designer friends, come – let’s share ideas and talk about art & beauty & God!