There’s an artist in the UK who goes by the pseudonym Zulf. He creates the most realistic drawings in the simplest way possible. Zulf uses white and gray pencils on black paper…
…He outlines only portions of the model’s face and hair in light, giving the image of a dark silhouette partially bathed in light. According to the London artist, each of his works can take anywhere between one to sixty hours to complete, depending on the details.
When I read about Zulf’s use of light and darkness to create art, it reminded me of something. It made me think of how God uses the darkness of our surroundings to accentuate the light of Christ in us. Do you remember Jesus’ “Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43)? In this parable Jesus decreed that the righteous and the wicked must grow together. Why does the Lord do this?
I’m sure we can think of many reasons. But part of the reason is that God finds a use for the contrasts of light and darkness, as He causes the stars to shine against the black of the night sky. He permits the darkness of humanity – with its cruelty and injustice – so that it will highlight the Christian believer’s witness (Compare Romans 3:5-8).
A Transforming Illumination
Of course, the deepest darkness is where the light of Christ is needed most. This is why Christian believers often find themselves in some of the most hostile and toxic environments. God is not in the habit of placing lamps under bowls and bushel baskets, where it’s warm and cozy (Matthew 5:14-16). He places a lamp where all can benefit from its light. We may not be pleased with our current work environment. But if we depart from it wholly on the grounds that it’s an unchristian atmosphere, we may rob it of the only light it will ever have.
By becoming light in the darkness we not only shine forth the soul-saving light of Jesus; we also make ourselves conspicuous and vulnerable to persecution. This is the price of being a true witness. But since the light of Jesus has power to save the human soul, it’s worth the risk and the painful consequences. This is why it’s critical that we make our light as pure and effective as possible. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Hope and Expectation
The light of Christ in us is only partial and fragmentary. But it should whet their appetite for more and make them wish to know the Light of the World Himself (John 8:12). It’s nice to look at Zulf’s simple yet realistic drawings. But they do not fully satisfy. We won’t be satisfied with the mere outlines of light against the darkness. We want to see more of the light, and long to see the whole picture in all its brilliance and color. In the same way our witness should always point to the True Light (John 1:9).
In a way, this is what the partial light and glory of God in this creation should do to us. It should make us discontent with the partial and fragmentary glimpses of a greater glory that is yet to come. The glory of a brilliant sunrise or sunset is wonderful to behold. But it’s only the outer edges of light in one of Zulf’s drawings. They are only a mere foretaste of the beauty and glory to come. So let’s keep seeking the things above, where Christ is and where we’ll spend eternity with Him.
Dear Father in heaven, please make me a true and faithful witness of Jesus, to effectively shine the light of Christ against the darkness of this world. Amen.
-Below (Information from)
(Information from: https://www.odditycentral.com/art/artist-uses-black-paper-and-whitegrey-pencils-to-create-portraits-of-women-cast-in-light.html)