The more I gaze upon Evetts’ windows, the more I am struck by his use of fired black paint. Of, grime. Of ugliness, if you will. All the grime and ugliness of the world, transcended by the presence of God-with-us. All things reconciled, resulting in beauty.
I am saddened by the call, sounded and taken up by various voices in the wake of the Notre Dame fire, that we should choose justice over beauty. It is hackneyed, a false dichotomy; and, indeed, a heresy. There is no justice without beauty, no beauty without justice. One of the tragedies of the Grenfell fire was that low-income families were not considered worthy of quality materials brought together for the flourishing of life, to the glory of God. Another is that the survivors are still waiting.
(One of the ironies of this social media debate is that it is those prophets who lead with a ‘social issues’ beat who are denouncing those prophets who lead with a ‘creativity’ beat! The prophetic calling has always embraced both. But, more: this is why we need all the voices—apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers—and not just our own.)
Only when we embrace justice and beauty, beauty and justice, will we tell stories worth telling; stories worthy of women and men, whose lives, diminished by sin, are being redeemed.
Evetts, and self-effacing artists like him, are a gift from God. In company with others, possessing other callings, they help show us the way.