Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Romans 8.12-25: Now and Later

Paul speaks to Christians in Rome about dualities: flesh and spirit, a spirit of fear and a spirit of adoption, sufferings of this time and the glory to be revealed, what is seen and hope for what is not seen. (Romans 8:12-25) There are dualities of time and matter and emotion and more. Paul contrasts a sense of now and later as he talks about what it means to be a child of God. He doesn't deny the existence of either option. Instead he seems to lift up the fact that they co-exist (though their co-existence is not always the rightest thing for children of God).

Lee Krasner was one of the first women in American to embrace Abstract Expressionism. She experimented with forms and colors. She cut up and recycled her old paintings. She refused to show in the 1943 art show titled Women, wanting to be known as an artist rather than a woman artist. Despite all this, Krasner may be best known beyond the art world for being Mrs. Jackson Pollock. Krasner met Pollock when both artists had work in a show in 1941. Married in 1945, the couple was estranged when Pollock died in 1956 from an alcohol-related car accident.
Lee Krasner. Charred Landscape. 1960. Private Collection.
Following Pollock's death, Krasner moved her work into Pollock's former studio at the couple's home. Between 1959 (the year her mother died) and 1962 Krasner created large-scale paintings dubbed "Night Journeys," because they were created as Krasner dealt with insomnia. The paintings hold elements of both the loss of Pollock and the freedom that Krasner was granted at his death. No longer was she in his shadow. No longer was their volatile relationship causing her pain. And yet there was pain in the loss of the artist and husband who was also colleague and critic. The paintings are both-and rather than either-or.

Paul (interestingly) calls attention to labor pains (I'd be curious to know Paul's experience with labor pains) as a parallel. There is the now of labor pains but also the later of what those pains produce. That's how life is. The reality of now and for us as Christians, the later that is promised. I can't promise that we all wait patiently, but it is true that we do have to wait for the later..

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