Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beauty in Contrast

The best times that grace my days often come mixed in with the most difficult.  Interestingly enough circumstances of lightness and joy of my heart never stand alone.  Always in the midst of great happiness, I find myself in great sorrow.  Just recently my husband, son and I were able to see our baby and learn that we will have another boy.  While at the same time we were anticipating and celebrating the blessing of this new life, we had begun (and still are) going through a season of mourning in our church body.  A great time of joy contrasts itself against a dark period of grief.

Sometimes I wish I could just have the joy and leave out the rest.

I know I'm not the only one.  In fact there's a similar circumstance for the disciples:
"And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,  and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.  And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi,  it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”  For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified.  And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son;  listen to him.” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only." Mark 9: 2-8

Amazed by the glory shown to him, Peter did not want it to end.  However the display of this radiance vanished as quickly as it had come and they were shadowed in a cloud.  What a contrast of intense brightness quickly followed by the shadow of a cloud!  And why?  Maybe to show the true glory of Christ, get the disciples attention, and deepen their commitment to him.  They had to leave the mountain, there was more work to be done in service with Christ and glory to the Father.

Following are a few pictures to help explain contrast and value.  First, here are the terms defined:

Contrast- To set in opposition in order to show or emphasize differences.

Value-(in artwork) Possibly the most important aspect of a piece of art is the quality called value. Here "value" means simply how light or dark something is. Many gifted artists have noted that of the three basic aspects of color – hue, value and chroma (intensity) – value is the most important.

In this photo, the contrast and values are set at appropriate levels.
 This shot shows the same photo, but with most of the contrast removed.  If I remove contrast completely the picture would be fully grey with no distinction of the water, bridge, and sky.
This is the same picture with the brightness turned up extremely high.  

Contrast and value of light and dark work together to create beauty.  When the balance of light and dark are off, beauty loses it's luster.  I believe this shows us some of the purpose behind the painful and dark times in our life.  The Master Artist truly designed the darkness and the light to dance together to paint beauty into His creation.  If not proportioned just right, life holds less beauty and shows less glory of God.

I think I'd prefer my life to be like the first picture rather than the last two.  Even though there is not much darkness to be shown in the last picture, there really is no beauty either, no glory to the art or to the artist. I praise God for the dark times as well as the bright ones, knowing that as they all work together He weaves a beautiful work of art called my life.  May our lives reflect the beauty of our Master Artist as He paints the darkness and the light to show more and more the fullness of His glory!


My Life as a Mom said...

Awesome! I love how you tied God's word with art, a cool way to explain what you are going through. Thanks for the card by the way, so sweet!

MEBSwick said...

love it - cool idea!

John McGeough said...

What a beautiful way to put his concept. Thanks for your wisdom. With your permission I am linking from my blog Daily Graces to your excellent work. My url is I would be honored if you found my blog satisfactory enough to link..

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