“Echoes” Artwork Week Three: Spirituality and the Mine Wall
This is part three in a series on our artwork for “Echoes of a Voice,” our series for Advent 2020. If you haven’t read the intro to the series, start there first! You don’t need to read each post in order, but here is post one and post two if you haven’t seen them.
It is normal for us to search for meaning and purpose through some sort of spirituality. This desire is an echo of God’s voice as we long to know Him, to have faith in Him, and to be in union with Him. We try to find meaning and purpose in our lives. We may try to make sure we’re “good people” by doing the right things. Sometimes we try to be religious or spiritual just to be religious or spiritual.
This third photograph from John Forney’s What Remains? series is from a marble mine in Marble, Colorado. A high ledge is seen in the right hand side of the photo, and on the left hand side the cavern drops steeply, with an entrance/exit tunnel letting light in. If the difference in elevation between the lighter rock shelf and the cave entrance below is not immediately obvious, the texture on the dark wall is worth a second look: a hundred layers of excavation clarify the dizzying difference. So why this photo?
Without Christ in mind, our quest for spirituality progressively reveals something that horrifies us, whether or not we concede to it: it’s a long way up from here. We’re faced with an astounding wall and we have no rope, no ladder, and truly no choice—our innate drive is to get up there, to not stay in the depths. It’s easy to see why. But the light at both the top and the bottom of this cave is the same—an echo from the surface.
The Christian has a drastically different faith than any other religious or spiritual system in the world, and it all boils down what we do at this universally-met “cave wall.” In Christ, God has already done all the work to make us acceptable; to meet us to transcendence beyond ourselves. In Christ, God has showed us clearly that He loves us and has rescued us into His joyful union—without us doing anything. In Christ, though cave is still dark and we know how deep down we are, all we need to do is trust that Jesus completed the work, turn our hearts toward His well-evidenced love, and live in joyful response.