I remember our Yellowstone vacation, hiking with my family down to the rim of Yellowstone Falls. You can hear the roar of the falls even from the distant parking lot, before you start down the several million steps to the lookout at the rim (this place could really use an escalator). Kelly and I and our five young ones finally made it. And we decided it was well worth the effort. We were awestruck. The power, the beauty, the majesty. We all forgot the ridiculous amount of stairs we would have to navigate to get back to our van, as though the splendor of the falls transformed the intimidating staircase into an adventure. Somehow it no longer mattered. We got what we came for: our hearts were awakened.
Almost four million people visit Yellowstone National Park each year. Twelve million visit Niagara Falls – why? We all have our reasons, but I believe there is one standout: We want to gaze on beauty and majesty. We want to be awed, held captive by grandeur.
In those moments something comes alive in us. A soul refresh, a heart cleanse. Beauty stirs something in us, and perhaps touches a part of us that can’t be reached any other way. We were made to gaze on beauty.
What if we could learn to see beauty and grandeur in our own backyard? We could experience the thrill, the refresh without a long road trip and hotel expenses. That’s what I do as an artist – help people see beauty in their own backyard. It won’t replace your family vacation, but maybe a good painting can draw us into beauty and take the edge off our weariness. Lighten our burden. Convince us to go on our own adventure and discover beauty ourselves.
“Your eyes will see the King in His beauty…” – Isaiah the prophet