Sunday, September 12, 2010

Treasure Hunt

Marcia Laycock is a pastor's wife and mother of three grown daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone, and has published two devotional books, Spur of the Moment, and Focused Reflections. Visit her website -

My husband and I were on a bit of a treasure hunt while on holidays in the Yukon recently. I’d met a young artist there twenty-five years before whose work I greatly admired. Just before leaving the territory he invited me to his cabin where he said I could pick any painting I wanted for a reduced price. His work was selling for two to three hundred dollars at piece at the time, a price I was not able to pay. Unfortunately life got extremely busy as we got ready to leave and I wasn’t able to make my way downriver to his cabin. For twenty-five years I’ve regretted it.

So when we decided to return to the north to celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary, I told my husband I wanted an original “Halin.” Everywhere we went we looked for his paintings. We found a few here and there, but nothing within our budget. Then a friend told us about a gallery just outside the city of Whitehorse called the Copper Moon. “Go there,” she said. “You won’t be disappointed.”

She was right. From the moment we stepped in the door we were awe-struck by artwork of all kinds. Some of it stopped us in our tracks and made our jaws drop. It was a joy just to wander from room to room, from painting to painting, photograph to photograph, sculpture to sculpture. I was reminded of something I’d read long ago about why people applaud great art. “We want to thank Beauty itself. Is it possible … we unconsciously sensed Someone standing behind the beautiful, Someone who is its source, and we were moved to praise him as well?” (p 105 Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron)

This is one of the mysteries of art, whether it be beauty in the form of a painting or a symphony or a sentence on a page. When we see it we recognize something more than that which meets the eye. We return to it over and over and often see more than we had the first time. Such art is like a portal into eternity, a small crack through which we can view the face of the Master creator. When it is done well it stirs all the finest of emotions in us – gratitude, joy, benevolence, praise. And in that process I believe a small bit of healing happens, a small sliver of redemption sinks deep into us and God’s Spirit is able to do His work.

This is the height to which all artists should reach. We succeed to varying degrees but in the striving we learn and grow and draw closer to finding that crack through which the healing happens.

By the way, we did find our “Halin” at the Copper Moon. It’s now hanging on the wall in our living room and we return to it often, to see, to give thanks and to praise.

“May the favour of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17