Artisan Eyes

Artisan (noun) - a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand
Eyes (noun) - used to refer to someone's power of vision and in descriptions of the manner or direction of someone's gaze

Yesterday I spent the day with God, and ended up at the botanical gardens near Clemson University. I left both my phone and laptop in the car to disconnect and focus on God. Upon arriving I came across a vibrant purple plant. It looked like a giant flower, but was actually some sort of purple cabbage or ornamental kale. I stopped to look at the intricate design for nearly a minute, enthralled with the color and detail. My heart leaped for joy as I realized God made that! He designed it! He created it for my joy and His glory. I was catapulted into another dimension of existence.

This began several hours of observing the beauty of all aspects of God’s creation in the garden. Veins of the backside of leaves. The constant flow of water through the tiny stream’s waterfall. Vibrant green moss sticking to a rock. Rings inside of trees previously cut down. It was invigorating and I left there high on God. Awe overtook me!

Having "Artisan Eyes" is seeing the Creator in everything. I believe it was CS Lewis who called this “omnivorous attentiveness.” Being attentive to everything: the firmness of the couch I’m sitting on; the beautiful grains of wood I have my feet resting on; the softness of the blanket resting on my legs; delighting in the notes of coffee I’m sipping on. It’s the awareness of God’s beauty and design in everything. It’s viewing the world in wonder, with childlike eyes, as if it’s first time you’ve set your eyes on each thing, like the blind man who Jesus healed in John 9. Imagine if you saw a sunset for the first time! Or fire. You’d be absolutely blown away! God, give us these eyes!

Paul points this out to us in Romans 1:19-20, "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made."

But, we’ve grown cold to this childlike wonder. We “do not see fit to acknowledge God.” Too often, I rush through life, failing to acknowledge the Artisan in anything. My mind becomes conformed to the pattern of our rushed culture. We look right past the Sistine Chapel to scroll for through social media and watch countless hours of TV. The world is trying to conform us to its image, cynical and unimpressed. Our senses are deadened. Our ears are deafened. We rush past God’s beautiful creation and we rob ourselves of joy and we rob Him of the glory. God wants to awaken us to see Him in His creation, and make our hearts leap for joy, glorifying Him in everything.

Imagine if we all went through life with Artisan Eyes, living in childlike wonder! Not only would life be so much more enjoyable, but our spiritual disciplines would be taken to a completely different place. Imagine reading the Bible with Artisan Eyes (especially the Psalms; I believe David lived much of his life like this). Imagine seeing people through this lens. Preaching would never be the same. Filling up a glass of water would become an act of worship. Sunsets would make us nearly fall over! Colors would become more vivid. Our taste buds would come alive again. Everything our skin touched would feel like ecstasy. Simple sounds would awaken us to life. The mundane would become amazing. Gratitude would flow. Life would be filled with joy! God designed us to experience His goodness in creation: taste, see, touch, smell, sense. All pointers to our Creator.

I believe the Holy Spirit is leading us all to have Artisan Eyes!

- Pray. Repent for failing to acknowledge Him. Ask him to help you see Him in everything. Ask him to give you artisan eyes.
- Take a look around wherever you are. Begin to acknowledge things you haven’t really gazed at in a while. Enjoy Him through it. Praise Him for it.
- Schedule some time to go somewhere special in nature to intentionally do this. You won’t regret it.
- Seek to acknowledge Him all day today! And everyday.