Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gainsborough, Eric Garner, And The True Sanctuary

The Museum of Fine Arts allows  me to immerse myself in beauty. Yesterday, John and I meandered through it, stopping to savior items that pleased our eyes and reminded us of gentleness and refinement. For example, Gainsborough's romantic portrait of Mrs. Edmund Morton Pleydell (1765) draws my imagination back to London gentry, and I dwell on thoughts of a peaceful life.
My retreat into the rarefied world of fine art left me a bit unprepared for the Grand Jury's decision not to indict the New York police officer who put  Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. As I watched the disturbing video, I found the Jury's decision extremely difficult to understand. I struggle to remind myself that the Jury  saw and heard much more evidence than I did.  I fight my urge to form an opinion until the findings become public.

The rawness of Eric Garner's last moments clash against the tranquil order of Gainsborough's portraits. Indeed, that entire museum usually insulates me from the sin that saturates the world.

Yet I will return to the museum, hungrily seeking its brief sanctuary from a world broken by its own stubborn refusal to surrender to Christ's rule. Moreover, I will look forward to Christ's Second Coming, when He will abolish all sin. In that Day, I will see beauty beyond anything Mrs. Edmond Morton Pleydell experienced in  her 18th Century London manor, for I will behold Jesus in His glory.

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