|Claude Monet oil on canvass Haystacks 1890|
The deepest mystery of all, I think, is the one to which biblical faith points, which is the idea that we are made not only of matter that comes from the earth and stars, but we are made in the image of God. Whatever that means. I don't know what it means altogether, but I think it means that we bear his mark upon us. Deep within us. The face of Christ is within us, his thumbprint is upon us. The world adds all sorts of things to that holy self that God made, but it still is there, and though we lose track of it in a million ways, I think it remains, if we are lucky at all, as a source of goodness, of flashes of insight, good dreams, good prayers that somehow pray themselves, of healing.
I think that this is the place from which all true art comes, and by true art I mean art that doesn't just entertain—perfectly alright to do that—but true art that nourishes the spirit, that illuminates the mind, that deepens understanding, that deepens our humanity. I think that what true art, and true religion, does at its best is to put each one of us in touch with that holy part of ourselves, with that source from which art and love comes, and from which all good, wise things come, so that we—by virtue of this painting, this poem, this ballet, this piece of music, this Scripture—become finally, truly, human at last.
-Frederick Buechner, The Remarkable Ordinary