The American painter and realist, Edward Hopper, once said, “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” Painting is something of a bridge between the natural and the supernatural. It is a kind of language that originates from the heart. We see in the natural, we live in the natural; yet, where would we be without the stuff that dreams are made of? Van Gogh once remarked that he painted what he dreamed. And dreams are a part of the space that’s in-between.
We are all in-between something aren’t we? Perhaps we’re in-between jobs, relationships, our past and our future, between love and hate, fear and courage, doubt and faith. It’s this space between that can sometimes propel us to great heights or be our downfall – even our ruin. It’s the space between that determines if we walk up the mountain or linger in the valley, if we overcome or fail, if we taste death or drink from the fountain of life. It’s the area’s of our lives that we can’t always define or fully understand with our mind. We crave it though –Like a drug we crave it. We go to galleries to gaze at Van Gogh’s, Starry Night and Da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa; we listen to Mozart and Debussy, we comb the lines of Dickens and tickle our ears with Shakespeare. We need to express and experience, what exists in us, that is intangible. We need the space between.
Many of us are so absorbed in our busy lives that we don’t even recognize this special part of our humanity. Sadly, it’s usually only after some great tragedy or trial in our lives that we become aware of it — aware of the fact: that we are both body, mind – and spirit. God has given us a spirit, housed in a body and equipped with a soul. “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
First and foremost we are spiritual beings. We live in a spiritual realm, obviously which is invisible to the eye – but nonetheless real. To ignore this part of our being is like spending our whole lives walking around in the dark; when all we need to do is turn on the switch. Now one thing, about walking around in the dark, is that it’s really hard to tell where you’re heading. Like a pin ball, in a pin ball machine, you just keep getting bounced around all the time with no clear direction. One sure way to know where you are headed in life, is to use a compass. Almighty God, who created the heavens and the earth, is all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere – all the time; He is our compass. He knows that if left to our own devices we will die in our sin. From the beginning, God created Adam and Eve, the first man and woman; when they disobeyed God, sin entered the world. We all have inherited a sin nature. For “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). This in turn, separates us eternally from Him. However, he made a way for us to be saved, by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins, who was buried and raised to life on the third day.
With a brushstroke of genius, like a master painter, He colored over the old sin nature that we inherited, with the precious blood of Christ. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,” (Ephesians 1:7). “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
God sent His Son to take the punishment — we deserve. The punishment for every lie, lustful act and thought, greed, hateful thing we’ve ever done or said, and every other act of rebellion against God.
There is salvation and creativity you see, in the space between. God is creative. Look up. The skies are filled with his glory. The sun and the moon are his handiwork. He created cherry blossoms and morning doves, sandy beaches and babbling brooks, rainbows and butterflies, shooting stars and northern lights.
He is the source, of all our creativity too. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows,” (James 1:17). To awaken to the space between is to be born again. Jesus states, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again,” (John 3:3). If we want to reach our full potential in life — we need God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 6:23).
Are you in touch with the space between, or are you just going through the motions in life? Are you born-again by the Spirit of God? Have you believed the good news of Jesus Christ? Have you asked Him to come into your heart? There is more to life than just work and play –there is the space between.