One of Donne’s more famous poems is “At the round earth’s imagined corners.” This title, also its opening line, demonstrates a hallmark of his poetry–the ability to combine elements of our experienced world (“the round earth”) with powerful and often Biblical imagery (its “imagin’d corners,” a reference to Revelation 7:1) to produce startling insights into the relationship between this world and the next. But what exactly connects the vast and expansive “there” of heaven with the lowly “here” of earth and what are the practical implications for our lives as Christians?
What are we as the church doing? We are missing the struggle, the pain, the hurt of those around us. We keep saying “come to my church, you’ll find Jesus”. We keep writing songs on how great God is, and the world keeps writing songs talking about their pain. Could it be that we are hindering people from finding Christ because we are not hurting along side of them (or showing the hurt that we have at least)?
When we encounter works of art we are moved and reminded of other things in our lives. When we hear a symphony we feel the tension of the strings or the whimsy of the melody. When we watch films we are able to relate to characters experiences and empathize with them. When we look at paintings we are able to identify symbols and colors that allude to something unknown. Somehow through viewing a piece of art we are able to experience this feeling of otherness that is difficult to describe and even more difficult to understand. Art lowers our defenses and allows us to see the world in a fresh lens.