By Doris Fisher Harris
An unusual art exhibition caused a great deal of international interest. It was a collection of works done by those who are or were suffering from mental illness in Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries.
When the exhibition opened, the scientific, mental-health, and artistic community found themselves fascinated. Curious art lovers wanted to investigate whether the dimension of madness allowed artists to see more or see deeper or see differently. Mental health specialists sought keys to medical breakthroughs, scientists wanted to probe the mind of the mad. The morbid wanted to catch a glimpse of the world through the eyes of the demented. Contemporary artists studied them in order to develop their avant-garde techniques. Ordinary people were fascinated by the grotesque.
We are all intrigued by those who see the world in a differing light than we see it. People of other cultures, colors, beliefs and backgrounds fascinate us. But there is a special curiosity about those who look at the world and see without the patina of reality. Seventy-per-cent of the paintings were done by schizophrenics and their disease does distort reality.
Each normal individual chooses his world view. Every artist reflects life through his times, his history, his philosophy. Even those of us who are non-artistic have a choice as to how to see our world.
The insane see a world of twisted grief and distortion. The humanist sees the world through man’s potential. The anarchist sees it through the eyes of destruction. The licentious see a world through their greed and passion and lust. The born-again Christian has to see the world as God sees it. He looks at His world through His holiness. He gives us His Word, the Bible to show us His reality.
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil… I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life …” (Deut. 30:15-19) Over and over God makes it clear that the choice is ours.
Often the contemporary world-view seems to almost border on madness because it is so far afield from the reality of God’s Word. Curiously, there is not as much interest in His view as there is about the view of the mentally ill.
Indeed, it is fascinating to study the way men and women of other cultures, races, faiths and backgrounds view our world. There is only one view that is of pre-eminent importance. Only one view determines our soul’s eternal destiny. That is the view given in the Holy Scriptures and sadly all other views, interesting as they may be, are in reality views seen through the eyes of the misled. Only the Word of God gives us the patina of true reality.
That same Word of God says that God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) It also says that if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
If you could use more true reality in your life please pray something like this:
Jesus, please forgive me for my sin. I know that you died for me and that you have a plan for my life. Please teach me your ways and help me to live my life for you, free from the fears of this world and the next. Grateful for all that life brings my way. I want to start a new life with you. Amen
Congratulations, if you have prayed this prayer the Bible says, “ Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cr 5:17)
If you’ve prayed this prayer for the first time or are renewing your commitment to the Lord, please let us know so that we can pray for you as you start your new life in Christ.