God Glimpses #21 – Why can’t Artists Read?

The-Raising-of-Lazarus-xx-Benjamin-Gerritsz-Cuyp

How many of you hate it when the book cover is all wrong? Two pages into the book and the main character is described as freckled with brown hair. You flip back to the cover and she’s blonde, What’s with that?

The children’s lesson today was on Lazarus. You know, the guy Jesus raised from the dead by shouting–from outside the tomb. And Lazarus came out. He was bound hand and feet, wrapped in grave clothes and had a napkin over his face. Says it right there in the Bible.

Could I find one correct picture out of hundreds that artists have painted over the centuries? Noooooo. Apparently, they all thought that the comedic thought of Lazarus doing the bunny hop out of that tomb was a tad too lighthearted for their serious talent.

I dunno, I suppose the correct cartoon versions were thrown in the trash by overzealous moms.

So, what’s a teacher to do? We played “What’s wrong with this picture” after reading the story. The kids got it right.

Those of us old enough to know better keep wanting to change God’s story, to make it meld with our sensibilities. We don’t want to think about the maggots in the grave clothes. We don’t want to let the Word stand on its own.

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One response to “God Glimpses #21 – Why can’t Artists Read?

  • Dave Weiss

    Hi Joy,
    Not sure it’s so much about wanting to change the story as it is really hard to try to illustrate the bunny hopping. When I portrayed this, I gave him almost an Incredible Hulk moment, the grave clothes frayed and tattered as if they were broken loose by the new life emerging from within (kind of like what happened when new life came into me). Keep in mind he was wrapped up dead and raised alive. I also think there is the matter of age appropriateness, maggots probably aren’t right for children, Kind of like my favorite example, Noah. Little children are ready for Noah and the happy animals on the big boat (complete with the giraffe sticking hke head out the window). They are probably not ready for the much more accurate drowning people clawing at the side of the boat, Just my two cents, I’m glad this worked out as a teachable moment.
    God bless,
    Dave

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