Earlier this year, my husband Roy and I had the opportunity of spending a day at The Art Institute of Chicago. I had read about the new wing — The Museum of Modern Art — about how the architects had designed it to showcase modern pieces, and how it blended with Millennium Park’s landscape architecture and sculpture pieces.

I was not so much interested in the pieces within the museum, but to experience the architect’s handiwork — that is what I wanted to see and feel. And so we went. 

Now, I have to tell you how my husband and I experience museums. I tend to fly through, and only if I see something that catches my eye, will I pause to ponder and take it all in. But it has to really grab me, or I am off and running to see the next exhibit.

My husband, on the other hand, reads every single description at every single exhibit (so he is the tortoise; I am the hare). A bit later, we meet up and share our observations and commentary: “What stood out to you?;” or, “Wasn’t that weird?;” or, “What in the world did that mean?;” or, “Wasn’t that magnificent?” And then we go on to the next exhibit hall.

As my real reason for going was to see the architecture, I hurried pell-mell through the walls and halls of art, glancing along the way at various exhibits: THE ONE COLOR OF BLUE canvas on the wall; the Picassos; the rooms of wallpaper; the rock pile in the middle of the floor. I slipped through the double doors of the gallery and found a birch bench to sit on, gazing through beautifully-crafted enormous windows, taking in Millennium Park and the buildings beyond — truly a cozy, contemplative spot.

Held in Place by Gravity Only

Many minutes later, my husband caught up with me and asked, “Did you see the exhibit room with the pipes and steel beams?” I answered, “Yes, what was that all about?” He said, “You’ve got to come back and read what they’re trying to say.” My thoughts: “I’m absolutely not interested…I glanced in that room, and it just looked like a bunch of junk.”

Well, my husband is a very persuasive guy and convinced me to go back; so we re-traced our steps to this very large room, in which were several arrangements of pipes and steel. On one wall, we observed a large stovepipe sort-of-thing attached to the wall, kind of like an upside down capital letter L. On another wall, hung a 182 x 213 x 198 square, kind of like a picture frame, while protruding from one corner of this frame was a steel cable extending about ten feet, rolled out onto the floor. On yet another wall, hung four gigantic steel squares, with the point of one square connected to the floor.

The fascinating point to every single one of these contraptions was that they were all held in place by gravity only. 

I could not believe it!

No screws. No bolts. No welds. 

An absolutely unnerving performance of complete balance. 

Simply amazing.

My husband and I soon got separated again, and I again found myself sitting on that birch bench — pondering, reflecting, thinking.

In those meditative moments, a Scripture came to mind that I had underlined in my Bible during my college days:

"A JUST BALANCE AND SCALES BELONG TO THE LORD; ALL THE WEIGHTS OF THE BAG ARE HIS CONCERN."

Proverbs (NASB®)

Ah hah, an eureka moment.

Balance; the God-given law of gravity. These artists, Eva Hesse and Richard Serra, had showcased masterpieces of art — using physics and various elements to make a statement of perfect balance. While not the artists’ intended purpose, the spiritual connection shone out to me clear as the noonday sun…only with God can we possess this perfect balance in our ever-changing, chaotic daily lives, having His constant never-ending law of grace SURROUNDING and GROUNDING us.  

And through us to those with whom we come in contact: our friends, our colleagues, our children, our spouse, the store cashier, the bank teller, our neighbors — that THEY WOULD experience the fruit of the Spirit, ever-flowing from our transformed hearts, minds, voices, and hands.

Three of my favorite Bible characters are: Joseph, Esther, and Daniel. All three faced extreme pressures and challenges on all fronts at many times during their lives. Anyone looking at their lives might wonder how, in the face of the storm of hostile brothers, hungry lions, and death — sentencing kings, they each remained calm, assured, at peace. Why? Because of their constant connection with the One in charge of this Universe: God Himself!

An absolutely unnerving performance of complete balance.

Call to Action

And it just might be, that on any occasion, as we go about our Christian journey, we too will have the opportunity to present our “picture to the world,” that someone (neighbor, friend, or family) may bear witness to Christ in us:

  • Joy in shadows of sorrow
  • Peace in chasms of chaos
  • Love in a world of hate
  • Long-suffering in moments and hours of frenzied impatience

An absolutely unnerving performance of complete balance.

From end to beginning, we cannot always figure out God’s ways or His timing. As Christ works through our lives, through our decisions, through committee sessions, and servant leadership modeled, we can know with certainty that God is in charge and that He is leading, ever balancing our processes and decisions to conform to His eternal will.

God leads as soon as: we commit our ways to Him; we commit our jobs to Him, and all the details for our short and long-term plans; we follow Him; we seek His counsel; we enter into His rest.

This commitment to unconditionally — acknowledging to God that He is in charge is what gives us the capacity to live and breathe…an absolutely unnerving performance of complete balance.

What does the proverb say?

"A JUST BALANCE AND SCALES BELONG TO THE LORD; ALL THE WEIGHTS OF THE BAG ARE HIS CONCERN."

PROVERBS 16:11 (NASB®)