Thursday, May 15, 2014

seeing Christ in the Darkness

                                                                     Photo: Carmen Imes

One of the perks of living in Wheaton is the free museum in the Billy Graham Center on campus, with its gallery of featured artists. I hadn't paid attention to the latest exhibit until recently. The paintings of Georges Rouault (1871–1958) have been on display since November, just waiting for me to wake up and discover them. His artistic message resonates profoundly with all I have been living and learning this year. Rouault dwells on suffering and pain, but illustrates the light of Christ that draws us even in bleak darkness.

One painting in particular grabbed me. The caption reads:
"Out of the depths ...," Miserere Series, Plate 47
Etching by Georges Rouault / Photo by Carmen Imes
"Lying alone on a bed, this figure sheds dark and powerful tears. Cut off from the communion of the other figures on the background, this place is the "depths." As the person calls out to Christ, his presence is there. With a brilliant light, Christ illuminates the figure and even seems to be pulling the individual up from the bed toward the light. Rouault makes it plain that not only can we call to Christ from the depths, but that he is already there."

Even in the darkest night, Christ is with us. We never suffer alone. The life and hope of Christ overcomes death itself.

"Benediction Christ,"
Fleurs du Mal 1 Series
Etching: G. Rouault
Photo: C. Imes
"Arise, You Dead!"
Miserere Series, Plate 54
Etching: G. Rouault
Photo: C. Imes
By Georges Rouault
Photo: Carmen Imes

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these thoughts - I am preparing a sermon on John 1 and came across this information about George Rouault. God bless you and your family. Delme Linscott