“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” So said Edgar Degas, French Impressionist (who preferred the label “realist”).
My daughter is a photographer, and can’t understand why people label her “artsy.” She just likes to take pictures. (She also prefers the label, realist.) Yet one of our favorite places to go is Chicago’s Art Institute–an artsy place to hang out. Two days ago, we made a trek to the city one last time before she leaves for college, and that was of course where we ended up. She found the Degas quote on a t-shirt in the gift shop.
She, my first born, is leaving for college. Many might ask her what she’s learned from being in our family. but I prefer to ponder: what have I learned from 18 years with this feisty, strong-willed, bright little girl who is now a young woman?
I have learned to see. She has made me see things differently, notice what I would ordinarily pass by.
In a way, that’s what God does: he makes us see. Once blind, now seeing. The scales fall from our eyes when grace provides a new perspective. And I think that certain people are good at being Jesus to the rest of us–not because they give us all the right answers or are perfect, but because they help us to see. By sharing a new perspective, they bring clarity not just to themselves but to the people around them.
Do you know anyone who helps you to see? do you do that for anyone?
For example: I drove us through Chicago’s Loop on our way to the museum. The iconic, stereotypical photo of the “el” tracks in Chicago looks like this:
You’ve probably seen similar shots in movies or television shows set in Chicago. As I drove beneath the tracks, which run right over the street, my daughter snapped this photo, making me see tracks and adjacent buildings from a completely new perspective:
Where, in your life, do you need a new perspective? And what are you doing, not just to see, but to help others see?