Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Literacy - A True Tale

     My husband, Bryan, loves sports.  Though he was a Bible major in college, in real life he coaches college soccer, and loves his job.
     Recently, in Austin, between games, Bryan planned a trip to an art museum.  That, in itself, is humorous, Bryan isn't a lover of fine arts.  In the museum, Bryan walked through with two young ladies, one a foreign student with a different cultural heritage.  Together they discussed the paintings and what they might be about.
     "I think in this one they're bringing the king something to eat."
     Bryan looks carefully at the distorted reality  (I've suggested it was akin to Pablo Picasso's art) and realizes this is no feast, this is a head on a platter.  Bryan begins to tell a carefully detailed story of John the Baptist.  He turns to find he's gathered a crowd.  Behind him are standing members of his team, several other patrons, and most interesting of all, the curator.  Bryan laughingly asks the expert, "Well did I get that all wrong?"
    "Oh, no.  I've never heard anyone tell the story in that much detail before."  Then the curator moves on with them to the next painting, Samson and Delilah, and so Bryan begins another Bible lesson.  The curator was entirely unfamiliar with Samson.  He understands color and composition but not the subject matter of the artist.
     Bryan and his ladies moved on, not realizing they were being shadowed until they were stumped by one painting and hear from behind them, "The French invasion of Haiti."  Throughout the rest of the afternoon the curator joined them in conversation, sharing knowledge with Bryan.  Bryan, though ignorant of art, has an inside knowledge of the tradition it's rooted in.  Bryan can't discuss forms or schools (and neither can I!), but Bryan knows the greatest story, the men who lived the plan, and the God who rules over all.
     I laughed as Bryan told his tale.  But it's not funny.  A smart, successful man has no understanding of the Biblical truth shining in his gallery.  And crowds of people aimlessly pass, unable to appreciate the message.

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