"Hi Randy, I just visited your web site for the first time in years. Awesome. You may or may not know, I do investment management for people. My thoughts after viewing your web site was how great it puts God's spirit in your life and the life of your art, music, even eating and drinking and sex. Although God said much about finance and investments, I am missing the connection you enjoy in those other fields. My work seems superficial to me, and it shouldn't. I have clients that do not know the Lord, and although I try to share my joy in the Lord, it seems to lack the passion you have in your art. I have been successful on the investment management side and give God the glory, but is there another spiritual level? Maybe your next book . . . . ."
As I mentor professionally, drink coffee casually and talk candidly to others, a recurring theme has emerged. One very prominent pastor, last week while enjoying coffee together called me a "rich" man. When I asked him to explain, he replied, "the wealth I'm referring to is not monetary riches, but far greater riches of freedom."
I suspect what he was referring to was a freedom to explore my deepest dreams, a freedom from the judgment of narrow minded religious people, and a freedom to be the artist God created me to be, uncensored by the walls of fundamentalism and rationalism.
Three years ago, an author (whom you would all know) and I were enjoying a sacramental meal and wine together in the crisp air of Colorado with dear friends and he recounted his story. He dreamed of writing a book, but realized he couldn't publish it while fulfilling a very prominent leadership position in corporate Christianity. The book told the story of a gay man, and that simply would not be permitted by the gatekeepers of evangelicalism. He realized that in order to do what God had obviously called him to do he would have to resign. He took a huge risk and did so and that book subsequently went on to be one of the best-selling "Christian" books of all-time.
He solemnly said, after hearing my dreams, that I would probably have to take a similar leap of faith in order to do what God had so obviously called me to do in the second half of my life.
I once heard Len Sweet say, "The church does not prize originality, but rather cloning, it does not prize freedom, but control."
However, the radical teacher Jesus Christ teaches that "truth will make you free". He gives incarnational and unconditional freedom. Both of body and soul - what my friend Dr. Lou Markos describes as "our enfleshed souls".
Hopefully and prayerfully, there is much more to my paintings than what first meets the eye. Please take some time and SEE. To quote Thoreau, "It's not what you look at, but what you SEE that really matters." Seeing is an amazing gift that we all possess but rarely utilize. Stop and See.
Dare to SEE my paintings. Question them. And right before your eyes, layers may slowly peel away and maybe, just maybe you will see what the painter sees. The colors of creation, and grace, and communion, and beauty, and joy, and love, and intimacy.
...Or maybe you'll just see yourself.
If truth be told, most of us are heartsad and ashamed of what we've allowed to wither within.
But there is hope of SEEING again...
I see through watercolors. How do you see? What are your watercolors? Where are your riches? In music? In fishing? In hunting? In writing? And yes, the "wealth" my pastor friend referred to can be found even in investment management.I don't know about you, but behind my paintings...is FREEDOM.