Click Play - Video by Drew Perrin

Scripture and history revere great men who’ve possessed tremendous spiritual sight/insights.  They’ve looked beyond physical reality.  These faith-filled folks were compelled by what they saw and understood in their minds and hearts.  Abraham looked for a city whose builder was God (Heb. 11:10).  Did he physically see it in his lifetime?  Was his vision more spiritual than natural?  

Job knew he would one day see his redeemer with his eyes, once he had passed from this life into the next (Job 19:25-26).  The woman at the well looked for true love and found it in Jesus (Jn. 4:28).  Jesus looked beyond the cross to the great joy that the Father had set before Him (Heb. 12:2).  Amen!

How can we see beyond that which is natural?  We desperately need the indwelling Holy Spirit to see life as the heroes of faith.  Our Father hides treasures of truth in creation and in our everyday lives.  Read Romans 8:9-11, 1John 4:13, and Proverbs 1:21. 


In a very natural way, the fishermen-turned-disciples read the sky to forecast weather.  Can God anoint our eyes to read far more than the predictable natural elements?

Can we hear Him saying “Go to the ant, consider the lilies, or lift up your eyes and look to the fields” (Pr. 6:6, Lk. 12:27, Jn. 4:35)?  How many aspects of our surroundings are concealing exciting truth?  Has God purposely hidden His truth from us, just to see who has hungry hearts and spiritual eyes to search?  Is there a Biblical example of godly people who were enlightened by what they saw?  



God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, where they enjoyed sweet fellowship with God, and with one another, of course.  The three of them hung out; they walked together.  They enjoyed an intimate relationship in the undefiled paradise.  The profound beauty emanated God’s character.  This beauty was more than eye-candy; it was a brilliant text, a massive library-gallery of information encoded in lines, shapes, forms and colors.  Yes, Adam could read.  The writing was not in Hebrew or Greek, carved in stone, written on papyrus or updated on Facebook.  It was far more legible.  God made Adam, and you and me, with an instinctive skill and a hankering for reading Him in His creation.  Reading Him?  

Yes! Think about this.  We read people everywhere.  Malls and airports supply an abundance of live reading material.  Every person is a book without pages or printed words.   Check her out, Ms. Business lady, a world traveler, smartly clad in money-talks attire.  She even sports a man’s necktie loosely knotted about her slender neck.  Her laptop and other essentials tag along on wheels, a designer carry-on. We know her by her stuff.  Likewise, we know something about God by His stuff.  Stuff matters. 

Not the business lady!
Back in the Garden of Eden, Adam read all about God in the beautiful visual language of creation.  A gallery of originals surrounded him.  Every aspect of creation bore the message and signature of our Ultimate Artist.  

The alphabet of line, shape, color, texture and form continue to articulate universal words of truth to all who have eyes to see with hungry hearts.  Sure, creation has undergone the devastation of Adam’s sin, and ours as well.  Actually, everything about our planet is tainted by the Fall.  We might say creation is tarnished; yet, it is impossible for this tarnish to totally obscure the glory of the original.  If the original has been buried by sin and time, let’s dig it up!


Understanding of the visual language belongs to you.  Let’s consider a prominent Bible character.  God anointed this guy to be the defender of Israel.  He wiped out thousands of enemies, circumcised hundreds of Philistines, and raided enemy villages.  He wielded the sword with an anointing to execute God’s judgments.  He leaped over walls and penetrated enemy territories—quite an athlete!  On the other hand, he wrote poetry and music.  He was a civil engineer.  He was an anointed architect.  He was a gifted dancer and worship leader.  Yes, David was quite a man—one after God’s own heart!  

Concerning God’s visual language, David wrote:
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.  You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen—Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea, That pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Ps. 8:3-9)

You see, David’s simple contemplation - perhaps daydreaming - about the sky, the hierarchy of angels, and the creatures unveiled God’s character to him.  At the same time, God showed David his place in the larger scheme of creation.  That’s big!  Where do you fit into God’s big-picture plan?


It is so interesting that Jesus deliberately spoke in parables.  He purposely hid the truth in stories so that anyone with a hungry heart would search Him out.  We should be adventurous treasure hunters with ravenous appetites—feasting our eyes.  Our spiritual appetites determine who we are and what we’ll become.  We feed on whatever we love.  Wow!  Think about this!  No wonder Jesus said, “Eat my flesh and drink my blood” (Jn. 6:54). When godly people hunger for more of God they find Him.  We might say His truth is deliciously satisfying.  Feast!


Aesthetics is the study of beauty, which is truly a spiritual characteristic of God Himself.  He has chosen to manifest His beauty through the tangible stuff He’s made.  Regardless of how any culture defines outward beauty, God is the Originator, He is the Beauty, and His principles of beauty are global, eternal, and applicable—applicable in the arts and in the art of living!  That’s big!  That’s fun and powerful!

In Psalm 19:1-6, David studied creation and recorded his findings: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.  Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.  In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.”  

The word “utters,” in verse two means to gush forth or belch out.  This is not the still small voice of God that whispers a sunrise, but a glorious declaration. 

Blazing sun and black-silhouetted trees against the drama of evolving clouds in flaming hues.  

Seeing the entire tree reveals the wonder of God’s engineering.  Man could never build a tree out of wood as proficiently as the Creator, whose very existance infuses life and perfect design. 


An up-close perspective reveals the details of God’s design.

It’s interesting - God’s language is universal.  Scripture says their “line” goes throughout the earth. “Line” carries the idea of a musical message that connects all of creation.  The sky, the oceans, the mountains and valleys, the fauna and flora are his instruments of visual music, orchestrating truth with lines, shapes, colors, forms, and textures.

David continues with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in verses 7-8: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”  Get this: the one who comprehends God’s message in creation will come to understand the wisdom of God’s law, which is perfect and capable of converting us.  Wow!  We want this conversion working in our lives.  Such revelation infuses life and growth. (See 2Cor. 7:1, Eph. 1:18-19.)


Even further study would reveal the wisdom of God displayed in the admirable behaviors of our fellow earthlings.  “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Pr. 6:6).  Is it possible to increase in wisdom by checking out a spider or crocodile?  See Proverbs 30:28 and Isaiah 59:5.


Job met with God when the eyes of his understanding were finally enlightened.  He was stunned with the realization that God had created him and the hippopotamus alike (Job 40).  He marveled that the awesome strength of the hippo, its powerful tail and bones, are as strong as brass.  He marveled at the loving heart of the Almighty Creator who graciously provides for every creature.  

When Job had new eyes God spoke to him.  “Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?” (Job 41:1).  The revelation of the fierceness of this creature’s personality astonished Job.  God pointed to the animal’s teeth and his impenetrable skin.  He asked Job if he could make a house pet of the beast; perhaps his cleaning staff might enjoy the critter.  At the culmination of this experience, Job said, “… I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not” (Job 42:3).  God revealed Himself to Job through the wonder of creation, and He’ll do the same for you. 


The Apostle Paul agrees with Job.  “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse; because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1:20-21).

The Lord is so resolute concerning the clarity of His message in creation that He holds us responsible to read it.  He knows we have the capacity to comprehend His personality and His character in what He’s provided in creation’s “reading material.”  Listen to this emphatic phrase of Romans 1:20, “So that they are without excuse.”  This follows the indictment against all mankind, because everyone has access to the “reading material.”  God holds us responsible to know, read and comprehend who He is through His visual language creation.  Do you get it?  Thoroughly read Romans 1:20, 2:14-15, John 1:9.

Jesus saw fields of wheat just like everyone else.  Farmers saw the crop as cash in the bank; others envisioned stylish, organic breakfast cereal.  Now then, Jesus was gripped by the power of truth encapsulated in every aspect of wheatology gone theology!  Eyes for truth!  There’s wheat that feeds the belly and wheat that feeds the soul.  


A kernel of wheat dies to bear more wheat - natural, yet spiritual (Jn. 12:24).  The wheat and tares grow together (Mt. 13:30).  It’s till happening. The chaff will be burned (Mt. 3:12).  Ouch!  The kernel is crushed to so others can be fed.  The crushed wheat must be mixed with yeast (Mt. 13:33, Lk. 13:21).  After all of this, the freshly baked bread must be broken to nourish others.  Jesus identified with this entire process.  It paralleled His life (Jn. 6:48-58).

“The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God” (Ps. 14:2).  Be the man!
Just as a Van Gogh painting always reveals something about Van Gogh, God’s works always reveal something about Him.  There’s no mistaking his work.  The same is true of Rembrandt and all artists, musicians, and architects.  Their works reveal their character, their life experiences, and their aspirations.  This is also true of our God and His great works.  From the microbiology of yeast to the expanse of the heavens declaring His glory, God’s nature is in the stuff He’s created.  Can we find Him, His truth, and His message?  Yes!



 Pray before embarking on this challenge.  Shoot images of God-made stuff: flowers, rocks, bark, birds, butterflies, ants, Aunt Agnes, Grandpa’s nose, Grandma’s chin, landscapes, waterscapes and so on.  

 Tweak these images using iPhoto or Photoshop to highlight the most distinctive characteristic of each subject. 

 Look again.  See beyond the visual.  Is there hidden truth in your subject matter?  What of God’s character do you see in His handiwork that you’ve photographed? 

Search Scripture for verses that fit your imagery, and include a verse or more in your graphic.  Have fun and glorify God with your work! 

Project Parameters:
Software:	iPhoto or Photoshop 
Canvas size: 	8.5x11
Resolution: 	300
Format: 	       RGB
Print hardcopies of your two best images for your portfolio using iPhoto.  Print one image per 8.5x11 sheet, and use the simple white mat format. 





1. Choose a partner and take photos of each other wearing sunglass.  Upload the photos into iPhoto and Photoshop.

2. What catches the eye?  Replace the reflection in the sunglasses with a meaningful imagery using Photoshop.  Your choice of reflection should have a particular significance to you.  Make it serious or make it funny, but keep it real and relevant.  Be wonderfully spiritual or downright entertaining.

3. Use of the most fitting selection tools, layers, and transparency levels (which can be turned on and off) to create a new reflection on the surface of the sunglasses.  Make the image of this eye-catchy subject follow the contour of the lenses.  Use the “liquefy” tool in Photoshop to bulge the image if you need to make it fit the contours of the lenses.



Project Parameters:
Software:	 iPhoto and Photoshop 
Canvas size:  8.5x11
Resolution: 	300
Format:		RGB


Have you ever looked into a friend’s eyes?  What do you see?  Look carefully; in perfect lighting, you’ll see your face on the surface of his eyeballs.  God says, “… for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zech. 2:8).  The picture is one of God looking at you with your reflection on His eyes, and His reflection on your eyes.  Wow!  Anyone messing with you is really messing with God.  He’s got your back! He’s your friend, your everything! 

-	Great men and women of faith see spiritual truth in creation and in the everyday world.  
-	Men of the Bible set their course in life according to what God had shown them through their spiritual eyes (Abraham and Job).
-	People, like fishermen, read the sky.  They read the visual language and understand what the weather will be.
-	Beauty is more than eye-candy.  God’s created beauty encodes His character and truth. 
-	We pick up visual clues about a person by how they dress.  We read people.
-	Everything about our planet is tainted/tarnished by sin.  But we can still find God’s fingerprints in the natural creation.
-	David was quite a macho man and yet was very tender hearted.  He was sensitive and observant so that he could read God’s visual language in creation.
-	The basic elements or alphabet of the visual language are line, shape form color and texture.
-	Everyone with a hungry heart will search out the Lord like adventurous treasure hunters. 
-	Aesthetics is the study of beauty.
-	Job heard from God when his eyes were open to see His mighty creative engineering of fierce animals.
-	Jesus used many things of nature to teach us spiritual truths, like wheat.
-	God holds everyone accountable for knowing Him because He has provided “reading material” about Himself in the visual language of Creation.
-	The Artist’s works reveal his character. 


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