My dad is an engineer (both by trade and by personality). Like many engineers, ever since he was a small boy, he’s been contemplating the way things work, the way the world runs. By taking things apart, attempting to put them back together, and continually coming up with new invention ideas, he has always been a special kind of person.
When I was just a young whipper-snapper, playing dress-up with my cousins, we were bummed that our favorite, golden, hello-my-name-is-marilyn-monroe shoe was broken. We offered it to my dad with hopeful hearts. However, when my dad was done with it, it was fixed, but it was also a silver duct tape mess. And I won’t let him live it down. Ha! Bless his heart.
From cider presses to my hope chest, from home additions to playhouses, he has been designing and making. And with the exception of my poor, darling dress-up shoe, they have been beautiful. Accuracy with numbers and shapes can lead to some lovely creations.
|This hope chest is similar to mine–lovely, right?
It’s funny, people seem to put artists and engineers in two opposite arenas of thought and practice. Granted, engineers typically see things in black and white, while gray is normally the favored color for artists. But there are a few very important similarities: they both desire to make things with their hands and with their creativity.
With the birth of Pinterest, DIY (“do it yourself”) and art projects are ever available to try. It is amazing what good building something, “crafting” something, or painting something can do. If we remember that we are created in God’s image (imago dei), it is not so hard to understand. He made everything that is, and when we build something useful/beautiful, it feels satisfying.
When I first got married, I was worried about spending too much money on home decor, since I did not know how long we would be living on Guam. And while being wise with your finances is very important, I realized that our home was a worthy investment. Besides, there’s no sweeter home decor than that which is handmade.
Think about a beautiful rocking chair or table–it is both functional, geometrically sound, and lovely in artistry. Our God is into beauty and accuracy, both the stroke of a brush and sequence of an algorithm, the peaks of the mountain and the waves of the ocean. Colors and numbers all belong to Him. He is a God of grace and truth.
With our hands and minds we have the power to either harm or heal, make or break. So whether you’re building a house, painting a picture, or duct-taping an old shoe, enjoy the deep richness of making something useful and beautiful. And always remember that God is the Ultimate Creator: “For by Him all things were created…” (Colossians 1:16a)
So be something useful and beautiful for Him! Francis Schaeffer said, “A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself” (Art and The Bible).
Make a beautiful thing of truth, because truth is a beautiful thing.
Living for Him is meant to be the most exquisite existence, so let’s live it with artistic precision, with algorithmic beauty.
Keep the faith,
2. Google Images/Pinterest.com