I was asked in 2012 to sew an arpillera (an appliqué on textile, designed with a message). What are my future plans as an artist-educator? I am a Christian and my goal is to follow the human divine God-man Jesus, the Chosen- by- God who bought me from the Enemy. He is full of grace and full of truth and where these most intersect is at the crucuifixion where justice and mercy meet. On my arpillera I show the cross exploding with life in the center. All Christians are 1) moving toward grace and toward truth (upper left). This is called Live Orthodoxy (+Truth+Grace), they are 2) moving towards truth and away from grace (upper right). This is called Dead Orthodoxy (+Truth -Grace), they are 3) moving away from truth and toward grace. (lower left). This is called Live Heterodoxy (-Truth +Grace) or 4) they are in despair because they are moving away from truth and away from grace (lower right). This is called Dead Heterodoxy (-Truth-Grace). You might ask what the little V’s are for. They stand for vérité. I speak French and grace is grâce in French but truth is vérité.
Where I am at any given time is shown by cloth or ceramic painted pins. I am in Quebec, serving alongside and supported financially by people who believe in Live Orthodoxy (ceramic fleur-de-lys). I am also full of joy when I can share spiritual gifts with French speakers interested in visual art. I also share the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life (cloth heart) among those who are moving away from truth and away from grace. It is a real struggle to come to the center since one has to move out of the way and let Jesus be our perfect substitute. We can never get grace and truth perfectly centered in our behaviour. We need a new master, a new record and a new heart which only Christ can be for us. That is why we worship him, trust him and hold firmly onto him as he firmly holds onto us, his Beloved.
So if I am teaching a Christian student or working under a Christian employer or have co-workers who are Christians, I keep this arpillera in mind. If someone who claims to be a Christian is very kind and generous, always showing mercy but never sure of what justice, integrity or authenticity require in a project or piece, I can be sure they are functionally living a worldview that is moving toward grace but away from truth. Truth is normally centred on Christ who, by the way, made everything we see and touch and experience. The Father is also filling Him up in the whole world now that He has been ressuscitated from death (Colossians 1.1-20). If someone who claims to be a Christian is sure of what is just and fair, authentic and full of integrity but has no room for forgiveness, hates compassion and is ungracious or rude, I can be sure they are functionally acting upon a worldview that is moving toward truth but away from grace. If someone claims to be a follower of Christ but is rude, lacking in compassion or mercy, has traded truth for lies and is perpetually having to restructure his or her integrity on false premises that are ultimately unsustainable and non-human, not able to meet standards set by either natural or moral law, then I can be sure this viewpoint is leading away from truth and away from grace and is ultimately suicidal. Only moving toward grace and toward truth move us to Christ. He will fill us and satisfy us in our humanity and make a New Creation where all of life will be sustainable. Our work will not be in vain at that point. It will be done to the glory of God. If I can see where people are moving, I can help us all move in the direction that brings us closer to the truth and closer to grace and that is where beauty lies, in my worldview.