Joni Eareckson Tada
From Glorious Intruder


An artist paints so that people might see. You share beauty, elevate the imagination, inspire and challenge the senses, and seek to do it all without being blatant or obvious. The good artist will let the viewer discover truth for himself.

I think of a recent painting of a horse. As I painted, there were parts on that horse I thought especially attractive, parts I wanted the viewer to notice. Like that nice place where neck turns into chest. And those slender ankles. The tilt of the head was another point of interest.

As an artist I thought to myself, how can I get the viewer to look at these places without being obvious?

I noticed the horse’s coat was a warm, golden color. What’s the opposite color of gold? Violet, of course, cool, dark contrast to the horse’s coat.

That’s what I’ll do, I reasoned. I’ll lay this cool violet next to the special places on the horse. That will draw attention without being too conspicuous.

As I worked on the horse’s neck, I brushed a hint of violet alongside the gold. When placed alongside each other, these colors, subtle and mysterious, would attract your attention. Artistically, it was a successful attempt to have the viewer see what I wanted him to see.

God, too, is a Master Artist. And there are aspects of your life and character, good, quality things, He wants others to notice. So without using blatant tricks or obvious gimmicks, God brings the cool, dark contrast of suffering into you life. That contrast, laid up against the golden character of Christ within you, will draw attention…to Him.

Light against darkness. Beauty against affliction. Joy against sorrow. A sweet, patient spirit against pain and disappointment, major contrasts that have a way of attracting notice.

Your life begins to snap with interest. People notice you out of the corner of their eye, and are drawn to you without really understanding why.

They are, in fact, seeing what the Master Artist wants them to observe: Christ in you, highlighted against an opposing force of dark suffering.

You are the canvas on which He paints glorious truths, sharing beauty, and inspiring others.

So that people might see Him.