I have always been mesmorized by mindbenders and riddle pictures, but my favourite art style of all is that of negative space. Especially as I am a logo designer, but mostly because I'm an easily fascinated and intrigued person, I love the mystery and etherealism of it and—when done well—I could stare at such pieces for hours in puzzled awe.
In case you're unfamiliar with it, negative space is the art of framing a subject in such a way that the space that is left creates the subject. It's a fascinating art form that can sometimes take several minutes of staring before you realize what the subject is. For some reason it really tickles my fancy that the subject itself is not there, but the objects that are there, point to the subject as clear as day. To get a better idea of what I mean, check out these incredible examples.
Last year, I began frequenting the blog of Christian and comedian, John Branyan (you may know him from his Shakespearean Three Little Pigs). Most of his posts are pretty varied; from eccentric topics such as hypothetical conversations about omelettes, to more sobering ones, like how the church talks about (or doesn't talk about) sin. The quick wit of John and his daughter, Amanda, and their humorous byplay is both refreshing and delightful. However the biggest contribution to his blogspace is the comments section. Namely, the passionate atheists that have set up camp there.
Any time John makes a point about the logic of a Creator, the Christian life, or asks the question of how we came to be, it is often followed by a barrage of atheism, resulting in up to two-hundred plus comments. There are angry ravings from people set against "indoctrinating children" into Christianity, the contradictory history of the Bible, and the foolhardiness of believing in sin. There are those who simply have no clue, but love to sound like they do. There are deconverts who take the holy high ground (ironic) by saying that they "truly don't know". Whilst the Christians among the discussion do all they can to get an intelligent answer to the simplest of questions, the question is buried under a mountain of "scientific" dogma, or ignored all together. When the discussion gets heated, or an athiestic standpoint is seriously challenged, there is often a lot of backlash, cussing, and fit-throwing. It's all highly entertaining.
Contrary to what they probably think of me since I don't tend to mince my words pointing out the stupidity of some arguments (my sister thinks John and Amanda's intense snark and sarcasm is rubbing off), the conversations do make me think. After all, as human beings with incredibly complex imaginations, it is impossible to prove something with 100% airtight evidence, whether it be atheism or Christianity. I'm definitely open to being proven wrong in my understanding of what the truth is. But I find that there are so many questions that atheism just can't answer for me.
How do I know what I should or shouldn't do, and indeed, what sets the parameters for said should or shouldn't?
What is the answer for suffering?
What is the point of art, or storytelling?
Why do we care when an animal dies?
If the universe is pointless, why did we discover that fact?
If there is no Creator, how come things like technology didn't create themselves?
Why have kids?
If I'm living for my own entertainment and enjoyment, why should I care what happens to someone else?
What would I comfort someone who is grieving the death of a loved one?
The questions go on and on, however instead of getting rational answers, I'm faced with a lot of philosophical jargon and ramblings dressed up to look like logic. Sometimes reading so much nothing and viewing life through this perspective is depressing. Is there no hope? There's nothing better to live for other than my own selfish skin? How does anyone live like this?
On the flip side however, I am incredibly encouraged. Often I can come away from those intense comment sections buoyed in my faith, and with the truth of God confirmed in my heart. Because the harder they try, the more they rant and rave, the more I see that the atheism void they believe in and argue for so strongly, has a shape.
It looks like God.
What people fail to realize is that the "evidence" against God they continue to present time and time again, the arguments, the science, the so-called logic, and the sheer passionate anger with which they deliver it, only adds to the framework of negative space, revealing the real thing:
God really does exist.
There is too much that cannot be explained without Him. When cases build up against His existence, when people reject the truth that there is a Maker and bury their heads in all manner of other theories, when you find yourself arguing over what day it is, amidst a culture where no one knows anything for sure and where identity is debatable, where violence reigns and the suffering cry out for answers, where there are stories of sacrifice, honour, and bravery, when we live on this small, fragile ball floating in space, and we can't help but marvel at the stars and galaxies, the stories, the glory and beauty of nature, when we are fraught by every manner of good and evil, and every single person has that one burning question "why?" engraved on their hearts...
Humanity instinctively looks to the heavens; because we know He is there.
And some day... the proof will be irrefutable.
The authority of the name of Jesus will cause every knee to bow in reverence! Everything and everyone will one day submit to this name—in the heavenly realm, in the earthly realm, and in the demonic realm. And every tongue will proclaim in every language: “Jesus Christ is Lord,” bringing glory and honor to God, his Father! - Philippians 2:10-11 TPT