A blank page may be one of the most intimidating things to face. Likewise with a new, blank blog. It is terrifying to write the first few lines, knowing that this is the first impression to others, and the basis for what will follow. Yet if I don’t start, nothing will follow. So here goes…
The best way I can think to begin with are the words which inspired the purpose-and the naming–of the blog. In Adorning the Dark: An Artist’s Benediction, Andrew Peterson declares that–
Art, if it can be ascribed value, is most valuable when its beauty (and the beauty of the truth it tells) bewilders, confounds, defies evil itself […] it fulfills its highest calling when into all the clamor of Hell it tells the unbearable, beautiful, truth that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. None of these songs and stories matter if the beauty they’re adding to isn’t the kind of beauty that redeems and reclaims.
Peterson concludes the article by describing the call of an artist whose desire is to love Christ and continue in His work:
Let those who can, tell that story. Let those in Christ whose hands paint worlds, whose tongues limn loveliness, whose ears hear astral strains–let them make, and make, and make. And let the made things adorn the dark and proclaim the coming Kingdom till the King himself is come.
It is a beautiful and compelling charge to point to Jesus with the giftings that we have–pointing to what He has accomplished and is accomplishing and to what He will complete when He comes again. While Peterson directed his words to the artistic community, I don’t think that the charge is restricted to the creativity of these wonderfully talented people, nor to the mediums that they work with. The principle can truly be expanded to encompass the whole life purpose of a believer. That with whatever giftings and opportunities we are given, we are to be beacons shining and declaring the beauty, grace, and truth that comes from God through Jesus.
In doing so, we are adorning the dark. Adorning the dark like stars standing out against the black depths of night, proclaiming that darkness cannot overpower light. Like the homey warmth of a lit window spills out into the gloomy greyness of a rainy evening. At all times reflecting–seeking to reflect–the ultimate Adorning of the dark: Love and Grace wrought by Jesus from the darkest depths of humanity’s depravity. In telling the good, good, true story that “Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again,” we are participating in His redemption, his great Adorning of the dark.
We may not do so with great bonfires, but even a candlestick, when lit, illuminates and gives hope in darkness. And so I’m beginning with this first flicker of thought. I pray that by God’s grace what you read here reflects the facets of a heart that is learning what it means to work alongside Jesus in His redemptive work: including mundane daily-ness, laughter with friends and family, and times of contemplation.