Art/Prayer Intersection Part Two: Knowing When to Call it Good

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by Sydney Zylstra

It wasn’t easy to get my mom to let me use her pictures and, looking at these, you might be surprised at the reason why.

“They aren’t right,” she said.

I could feel she meant they aren’t perfect. They aren’t the flawless beauty that she had in her imagination when she began the work.

I told her that of course they weren’t. Our creations are never as perfect as we imagined they would be or as we wish they were.

Then I assured her that my readers are not art critics (that I know of).

I pushed forward when I still heard her hesitate and told her of Iris Murdoch’s quote:

“Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea.”

I could hear her relaxing at the thought of other artists with the same struggles. She decided to send them my way to share with you, imperfections and all.

And since I’m thinking about art and prayer this month, I started to turn over what God said about creation in the first chapter of the Genesis story.

Over and over there is this line:

“And God saw that it was good.”

No where does it say that it was perfect or even the best. Just good.

I am so grateful my mother decided to let you see these. They are not perfect. But they are good.   

May we all declare our work ‘good’ while knowing when it’s time to make it better.

May we also know when we should let it go out into the world for others to love or not while we move on to the next good work in front of us.

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