A Void Canvas
By Anthony Casperson

The writer touches fingers to keyboard, while the cursor blinks atop an untitled document. The sculptor reaches for their tools as they move ever closer to their primary material of choice (clay, stone, wood, marble, etc). The musician places their hands to their chosen instrument ready to sound forth a new song into the world. The painter holds their brush before a blank canvas, preparing to turn the vision in their mind into reality.

That first moment before the artist brings forth beauty from the void. It’s an amazing picture. There was nothing, but emptiness. And the craft of the artist creates magnificence from it.

As this image comes to mind, I can’t help but think of the beginning of creation. Before time began, when God existed, and nothing else. The Triune in the void of nothing. He readied himself to create everything. The first second ticked as he put voice to the void. “Let there be light.”

That canvas of void upon which God crafted every beautiful and good thing was nothing but darkness. The world was formless and void. It had yet to exist, but was about to. In the darkness, the Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, trembled excitedly like the ripples of water in a strong breeze. And the waters of the world came into existence.

I stand in awe of the work of God. Everything, from the vast galaxies in the universe to the tiniest subatomic particles, find their being because God chose to pour forth the beauty of his mind into the dark void. His canvas was the darkness before sin usurped that realm. Before humanity birthed death from disobedience, the void was not only good, but that upon which every other good thing was placed.

It’s strange, in our sin-filled world, to think that darkness was not only used by God to bring forth all good things, but even called good itself. There was much darkness in the void of space when God leaned back and said that his creation was good.

Why is this thought important? Though sin and death have taken up residence in the darkness and think themselves its rulers, God still brings forth beauty from the darkness. He calls forth his light to reveal the movement of his works in our lives.

Sin still exists for us. The difficulties of life will continue to come. The light of God won’t remove those things until the Light of the world reveals himself again in the fullness of his kingdom. The good that God works in our lives right now doesn’t mean that we have a perfect life without problems or difficulties. We’re not promised a painless existence in this world wracked by human disobedience.

But in that calling forth of light, the good that comes reveals God in his beauty. He is our hope. Not that everything will be perfect. But that because of his good works, we can move ever closer to reflect his beauty in the darkness.

There’s a lot of darkness going on right now in the world. That doesn’t mean that God has ceased to work or be good. We shouldn’t give up standing firm in him because of the darkness and void we experience.

He is moving, calling forth light even now. The Artist who brings beauty from the dark void. He moves to bring us his beauty even in the difficulties. Witness him move in his light amidst the darkness.