Snatches of Speech
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
They say behind every great photo is a roll of film, so we are thinking this is our roll of film and maybe somewhere here is a good image. We are collectors and created a collection of ‘snatches of speech’ from things overheard, things read, and things meditated on. Part of our partnership is a conversation back and forth, iron sharpening iron, pushing each other to have a bigger view of God. Over the past year, we have had many conversations around these 10 snatches of speech, and are happy to share our visual interpretation. We chose the square format for our artwork to emulate the fashion scarf design to represent the first conversation that started Wondern
Your Soul is Stuffed with Small Things, and There is No Room for the Great.
We’re happy to eat all the crumbs for the world’s table and our souls get filled up and numb. It’s not even that we feast where we shouldn’t, we actually lose so much by this nibbling habit. Even good things, when they aren’t properly viewed and enjoyed with a “gloryscope” perspective, become like that expanding-stuff foam and fills up all the nooks and crannies. When that happens, we miss out on the great and the glory.
The Way Down is the Way Up
There cannot be resurrection without death. His is an upside down kingdom. The first became last. He gave up His station, His glory, His power, His seat on the throne so that one day, He could share them with us. His humility must be our example in the way to holiness, on the path to Christ-likeness. We should not consider it robbery or charity or anything else to lower ourselves to the very bottom, especially since we are already dwellers of the deep. He who is worthy came to the depths, our depths, and sat with us. His entry into the world created the first rung on the ladder to heaven with him. And when we think about that lowly entry, that His coming down is our way "up", it is easier to understand the Christian life, our change and renewal comes in an upside down way.
Glimmer of Glory
A delicious piece of fruit. A good pen. A satisfying walk in the woods. The sky. The ocean. Really good coffee. A great book. A really lovely dinner with friends. A good conversation. Crying and laughing with a trusted friend. Your sleeping baby’s face. Fresh snow. A beautiful song. When you choose someone else’s best interest. When you see a change in your heart. The glimmers of glory are the moments in this life when the veil is thin, and His kingdom and His majesty shine through.
Seeing is Not Believing, it’s Just Seeing
Seeing is just that, seeing with one sense. To believe in the unseen is to be gripped with wonder and live in awe with hope. To believe in this way is to experience life and faith in a multi-sensory way and it allows God to be bigger than the box we crafted for him.
Again and Again
Throughout the Bible, we God’s people, experience His lavish love and great power, and our hearts are warmed to Him. Too quickly, our hearts cool and we turn our lives away from Him. Again and again, he pursues us. Again and again, He makes a way for us. Again and again, He forgives us and draws us to himself.
At the end of 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the General re-makes an intricate goldfish that he made before the war. Fabricated from gold, he labors over the details, and when he finishes, he then melts it down and starts all over again. This parallelI of process and refining is a beautiful reminder of the repeating patterns of making and knowing as well as His pursuit and refinement. As artists, we resonate with this process because thee deep grooves in our brains are shaped by what we do, again and again. As psalters, we are reminded, that our worship can mirror His pursuit, a repetitious cycle of the sanctification process, resurrection and death, again and again.
A Spectacle of Grace
This “snatch of speech” is from a friend of ours who has a way with words. Every time we see the work of His spirit alive in someone else and changing them, it is a miracle. A bright shining spectacle of wonder and awe.
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
A title of a book by Eugene Peterson, just the title helps me steady the course of a day, as I am prone to wander, and be easily distracted by everything, I am reminded that I have to keep moving forward in one direction at a time.
I love wandering. I am terrible at giving driving directions because there are so many ways to get there from here. Who wants to sit in traffic when this side street could get us there? Obedience does not play the game as physical travel. You cannot arrive if you avoid the pressing, the staying.
This phrase came from the Mockingbird Ministries and echoes an idea we were made familiar with through Jack Miller. “Cheer Up, you’re worse than you think, but more loved than you can ever imagine” he’d say. This is a concept of comfort, because it is true. We know it deep within ourselves. This idea reminds us that our state of being in Christ is both unworthy and beloved, it is the paradox that we struggle to sit in daily as believers. It also reminds us that we must not be strangers to our need for salvation. If we don’t see our need, we can’t see the blessing.
Straining Out Gnats while Swallowing Camels
“The loyal soldier is largely the same thing that Freud was describing with his concept of the superego, which he said usually substitutes for any real, adult formation of conscience. The superego feels like God, because people have had nothing else to guide them. Such a bogus conscience is a terrible substitute for authentic morality! What reveals its bogus character its major resistance to change and growth. And its substituting of small, low-cost moral issues, for the real ones that ask us to change, instead of always trying to change other people. Jesus called it ‘straining out gnats, while swallowing camels’ (Matthew 23:24).”
- Fr. Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
The Sin of Certainty
This phrase is taken from a book title by Peter Enns. We must choose to be curious and to stay curious over being right. In our relationships, we want to move away from Pharisaical self-righteousness, and towards Christ-like-ness. He, who will sit in the listening chair and listen. We are never stagnant, we are always moving, we have to keep learning and to value this virtue. To stay curious about the person speaking takes intentional practice. Practice is liturgy, and liturgy is worship.