Faith and Art and Politics and More: Looking Beyond the Noise to See the Truth!

Jesus: “Be careful that you don’t practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:1
– Rebekah with David and Beks

Note: Photos by Naomi Rebekah Campbell

I just love it when something happens that lights a fire under someone’s enthusiasm. Of course that’s not so difficult when it involves our daughter, Naomi; she seldom does anything without tapping every ounce of passion potentially available. So I wasn’t surprised when the Van Gogh Immersive Experience had her beside herself with excitement.

Rebekah and I had already visited the exhibit back in May – You can see my photographs here – so I stayed home with Geoffrey (he also qualifies as an immersive experience!) while Rebekah took Naomi, David, and Beks.

The children really enjoyed the art, the massive projections, the stories, and especially the opportunity to walk into some of the paintings via the VR goggle technology.

But it was Naomi, who also happens to be a brilliant artist herself (check out a few of her paintings in this post: Creative art that reflects God’s light and truth), who was completely caught up in the experience. She was pretty much bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm when they got home.

Loosing Van Gogh (and more) in the bright lights:

– David getting his art on

I believe that we live in a world where we are perhaps overstimulated in terms of advertising and entertainment and the saturation of media that has amped up the noise and the drama and the color in an attempt to gain our attention. The headlines alone, designed for SEO (search engine optimization) very often leave the senses reeling.

The problem is that it’s all about attention – “Look at me!!” – and not so much content. In other words, the competition seems to be in terms of where to look and who to look at rather than what there is to learn.

Real content, deep quality, ideas and art and writing and truth worth engaging – these tend to be too easily lost amidst all the glitz, the hyperbole, the bright lights, and the overstimulation. Like the constellations, the Milky Way, and even the moon sometimes, lost in the glare of the cell phones and the street lights and the televisions and the lights of the traffic.

– Naomi and Rebekah at Van Gogh

So I am grateful that our family is still dazzled by Starry Nights and Sunflowers and Almond Blossoms Wheatfields and a Café Terrace at Night.

But we have to be deliberate, to learn to see and to listen, and pay attention to the difference between attention-seeking and truth. Be it art, or culture, or relationships, or political noise, or Sunday mornings at church.

Jesus pointed out this very important lesson, and he repeated it often. “Please open your eyes, friends, and put your listening ears on! Don’t be distracted by what is showy yet worthless – all noise and no substance – when the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, right here, within your grasp!”

Amen – DEREK

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