Monday, May 06, 2013

Imago Dei

I sat down on the front pew to listen to the postlude played by our guest musician, a concert pianist.  As the music began to flow, I was close enough to observe the delicacy of his fingers on the softer notes, and the arching hands that gave force to the stronger.  The piece echoed in the sanctuary as he continued to play, without any music in front of him, simply from memory.

How does it happen?

How is it that one person hears notes in their head, where I only hear noise, and puts them down on sheets of paper, shaping them into a piece that endures through the centuries?  How does one memorize the complexity of the notes, and then send them down to her fingertips, playing them in such a way that still echoes in hearts hours and days later?  I could pick out the notes on a piano, but could never put them together so that people's lives are changed.

How is it that I can look at a field and see trees, grass, a couple of horses, a sky with clouds gathering darkly, and a Constable sees 'The Hay Wain'?  How is it that I can put words together in a rambling sentence, and a poet can take those same words and produce something that calls you to sit in silence?

How is it that I can look at a scene and quickly dismiss it as every day ordinary, and a photographer snaps a picture and through her eyes that same image resonates with thousands of people?  How is it that I can see an injustice and write a letter to the editor, and a Lincoln can pen his 'House Divided' speech?

More and more, it is in the notes in the musician's head and hands, it is the internal eyes of the painter and photographer, it is in the  dexterity of the wordsmith that I find confirmation that we are indeed created in the image of God, the Master Artisan.

© 2013 Thom M. Shuman

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