See God in Everyone
I dropped in one of my favorite galleries this week on a whim…the Galerie Perrotin, where I was blown away by the “Fire of Joy” expo by Iranian artist, Farhad Moshiri. In the largest room he placed two enormous and overtly-spiritual works of art. On one wall, he “wrote” with dangling key chains (of all things) the phrase “See God in Everyone.” I’ve been pondering this phrase for the past few days, so the artist hit his mark with me. It is such a beautiful, yet utterly simple phrase. The phrase alone scrawled along the wall would be enough, but written in keychains…each one with its own, unique little dangling trinket…well, you should be able to connect the dots on that.
I know some of my friends won’t like this phrase, but I do. In fact, I love it when people tell me they are an atheist because it challenges me to ironically look for God in them. If I keep listening to them, I’ll eventually find what I call “fingerprints of God”. What I mean is that in most all of us there are at least traces (and more often, outright passion) of love for our fellowman, for handicapped children, orphans, widows…or concern for the marginalized, the oppressed, the down and out….or anger towards injustice, destruction of creation, inhumane treatment of animals…and to me these are holy things….holy, because they are things that are important to God…so important that I think he purposely left these clues within us, like fingerprints of an artist found on a work of art.
On another wall at the gallery, there was another huge Moshiri work which spelled out the name “God” 42 times…each one with a unique color scheme, created with very tiny beads. This bead work is more in sync with the rest of his works at the Perrotin (Check out the slide show here.) which is incredibly impressive. I especially like the wide range of imagery that he has represented with beads.
But what do I make of God in 42 flavors? Some would see it as blasphemous, quoting passages about the uniqueness of God and warnings of making God in our own image. But the meaning that comes through for me on this is that God is able to come to me and to relate to me in my particular quirky “color” preference. He understands me in all my unique weirdness. He accepts me “Just As I Am”, to quote an old gospel hymn.