Look, Learn, and Believe!

One day while I was volunteering at a gallery, a woman came in and began admiring the paintings. “Is the artist local?” she said.
“I don’t think so,” I replied, “but I’ll find out.”
After I told her the artist was from Atlanta, we began talking about how beautiful the paintings were and how varied the subjects were—boats, kittens, flowers, cowboys, horses, landscapes, etc.
Although I knew nothing about the artist other than her name and location, I began to make assumptions about her as I studied her work. For example, she has an eye for detail and loves color. She’s passionate about painting, too, for she’s skilled in acrylics, oils, and watercolor. I imagine she’s been lots of places—and paid careful attention to what she saw there.
I don’t know if I’m right, but I’ll find out whenever I meet her at the upcoming reception. I’m confident, however, about my assumptions, for works (whether art, actions, or words, etc.) do provide clues about the person to whom they belong. That’s why people throughout the centuries have been able to infer much about God simply by paying attention to His works. “Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty” (Psalm 111:7a, New Living Translation).
Folks who don’t have access to a Bible can learn much about God by observing the natural environment. After all, “The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world” (Psalm 19:1-4a, NLT).
The Apostle Paul agreed with those words of David, for Paul pointed out that everyone knows the truth about God, though some folks refuse to accept it. “For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. >From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and the sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God” (Romans 1:19-20, NLT).
That seems especially true during this beautiful fall season, or so I thought recently while traveling in New England. Everywhere I looked I saw evidence of the Creator’s work. He had painted lovely scenes throughout the region—blue skies providing a canopy for glass-like waters reflecting a myriad of images and colors, for ducks bobbing along on wind-formed whitecaps on lakes, for animals feasting on lush grass, and for mountains glowing with brilliant red, orange, and gold leaves.
How can some folks see such natural beauty yet fail to acknowledge that Someone created it? Since everyone easily believes that “someone” who lives “somewhere” created works of art displayed in galleries, why is it so hard for everyone to believe that Someone created the world? Isn’t it logical to assume that if small works (like paintings) have been created by a specific person, then surely Someone created the world?
© 2004 by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill, who may be contacted at jjgask@charter.net .


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