An Exhibition, A Painting and A Church
by edith edremoda
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"I have never seen anything like it" John said in awe.
"Neither have I. I wonder what it means or what the artist is trying to show."
"I have no Idea." John replied. "Maybe the artist intention was to create an abstract concept."
"You could be right. But I am still a bit confused. An abstract concept of what? I see what looks like a cross, I see people. But there is no background scenery. Nothing about it tells us what he is trying to depict."
Both men stood among the art enthusiast in the gallery looking at the exhibition. Other people close by also were discussing or staring in awe at the same painting. It drew people to it. It was painted with beautiful strokes that could rival the great works of Leonardo Da Vinci. Not one of them could say what the painting was about.
A young woman walked up to the people gathered round the painting. After a minute of staring at the painting said,
"Oh Wow. It's a church."
John turned, looked at her and said,
"Why do you think it's a church? No church I know looks like this. Whether painted as real or as an abstract."
She smiled then and replied,
"I believe that is the artist desire. If you really look at it, you will see it is a church. A church without walls."
John laughed out loud and said,
"This artist is brilliant and gifted but I do not think he is borderline crazy." he turned to look at his friend, "Can you believe what she is saying? That it is a painting of a church. Who would paint a church that has no walls? When has churches never had walls. Such churches don't exist. I know my church has walls."
"Yes they do exist."
"No they don't. John argued. When the young woman protested, John said
"If they do exist, give me an example of one."
Smiling the young woman said,
"The Set Apart Church."
"I have never heard of it. Where is it located?" John asked.
"It's located everywhere."
John could not help but laugh. This young woman definitely had lost her mind.
"Why do you laugh sir? Do you think it is impossible for a church to be everywhere? The set apart church is an online non-denominational church built for individuals who have issues with going to church or can't make it to church based on their busy schedule. It can be found everywhere there is internet access. It is a church online hence a church without walls."
John laughed without mirth. The young woman on seeing he was not convinced asked,
"Sir if I may ask, what is a church?"
Shocked at her question John said with a huge smile,
"A building used for public Christian worship." with a smirk, John added, "my dear, note the word 'building' for a building cannot exist without walls"
"Yes you are right. However, it is only when you look at the definition of the church from a literal point of view. Without worshippers, a church is just a building. With worshippers, it becomes the body of Christ. Sir, remove the building and leave just the people, there will still be a church. Remove the people and leave the building, all you have left is a structure. Nothing more."
John listened as she spoke. He looked at the painting again and only then did he start seeing what the painting was truly about.
"A church without walls is a place where man, woman and child of every race, tribe and tongue can gather to fellowship in God's presence. Although it is a church online, it is still a place where people can come to worship and find peace. That's what I think the artist is trying to show. That with God, there are no walls." after a pause, she continued.
"I have a friend who is a geologist. The nature of his job demands he is always on the rig. A place where there is no church. He is one person I know whose life has been changed by The Set Apart Church."
With that final comment, the young woman walked away leaving John and his friend to ponder at her words. After a few minutes, John turned to his friend and said with a smile,
"She is right. The painting truly is about a church without walls."
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