Daily thoughts on aesthetics and theology, and the entire world in between.

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The life of a drawing

Lijiang in southern China is a little like Venice. Winding alleyways. Curving waterways. A splash of the medieval, except everybody has cell phones.

It's December 1, 2004, and I'm at Ma Ma Fu's restaurant in Lijiang, doing what I do best while in China: eating.

But I get the urge to draw.

(Ma Ma Fu means "Mother Pays" -- fu meaning to pay. And mama means mother in any language). So I'm at Mother Pays restaurant in Lijiang and I get the urge to draw.

Not finding a pencil, Lunch at Ma Ma Fu's was drawn with a ball point pen. So: ball point pen on paper.

Since then the drawing has been with me to Tibet. In fact it's been all over China and Japan with me. It was with me while I was sick as a dog in a rural Chinese hospital: no water to bathe in for three days; no food served; I had to get the nurses to go to street vendors for soup ... with a quarter inch of grease floating on top.

It's moved two homes with me. It now sits on my desk still in its temporary frame.

It's by far one of my favorite drawings. Not just because of the strokes falling in the right places. But because of the strokes of life it has shared with me. And I look forward to more.

Maybe someday I'll actually frame it. But I'm reluctant to, because that'll take something away.

What a heartache being the creator of drawings! Once they are birthed into the world, they have a life of their own. And yet there is a sense that I am still in them, and they are in me, because whatever made them came from me.

It would be difficult to part with Lunch at Ma Ma Fu's for any price.

What must the heart of God be like?! God, the creator of men.

Surely he would pay an enormous Price to save us.


Psalm 16.6
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

Ephesians 28-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

John 17.23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

John 15.4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

John 14.2 In my father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.


Daniel Leslie Peterson June 6, 2009 at 6:53 AM  


David Wang June 6, 2009 at 9:31 AM  

Amen Dan!

More of the physical-sacramental revelation of God in all things around us, and in things we make and do. Thanks for your comments both on this one and on sacraments.

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