Picture a very black box next to a very white bowl, and you’ll see contrast. If that doesn’t make sense, then show up at a black attired funeral wearing bright-red, and you’ll create contrast in more ways than one.
Let us follow the principle. Imagine an infant crying in the middle of the night, and then experience the silence when she falls asleep. Picture a single lit candle in a dark, empty room. Those are examples of contrast. There are extreme contrasts like love and hate, or summer and winter. Contrast is not only a designer’s tool, it is the Creator’s wisdom. The creation began with contrasts; “the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…and God said, ‘Let there be light.’ ” This is a well-spoken utterance, calling enlightenment to replace ignorance.
Such pleasing marvels and miracles happen when we create contrast. Imagine experiencing love after experiencing hate. To me, contrast dramatizes the art. Contrast and emphasis expose the intentions of a designer. Remember emphasis? We said that your gifts are your unique points of emphasis. Well, they also bring contrast. The two work hand in hand. Contrasts are used to create emphasis. Differences in your abilities highlight who God wants you to be and His intentions for your life.
There are obvious contrasts in our world, as I have already indicated. However, there are three profound purposes of contrast that deserves your attention.
First, the Master Designer made us with contrasts. Examine your eyes. Check out your cheekbones. Fiddle with your fingers. Additionally, men and women are striking contrasts…I know, I know…I could say it again. It is not a bad thing. God intended it so. Remember, designers are purposeful about the contrasts they create because, through contrasts, a designer can reveal his intentions. Whatever makes you different is also one of God’s ways of revealing the story that your life will tell, so that the world can experience what you have to offer.
Diversity, my second point, is another of the Master Designer’s purpose and intention. Sameness is excellent, but in design, contrasts brings the magic. A cornucopia of contrasting faces, mindsets, hearts, and families is what makes us so special. Our contrasts were meant to attract others—not to turn them away. However, sin has soiled our eyesight, and when we look at others, we sometimes see differences in a negative light. Through my contrasts, I gain my experiences; through your contrast, you gain yours. Our experiences define our stories. We then should share our contrasting stories so that we can learn from and grow with each other. Races and cultures are God’s way of building contrast and emphasis in His design.
Contrasts complement the other components of the art. Men and women contrast each other, equally to how they complement each other. Wives and husbands have different personalities but till death do they part. Our Master Designer designed us with contrasts so that we can be drawn to and not away from each other. Since we have much trouble doing that, this final point is the Designer’s last attempt to unite us to Himself and to each other.
Finally, the cross is the essence of contrast. As a t-shaped item, it is a declarative statement of contrast. It stands vertically and horizontally aligned, intersecting deity and humanity, bridging the gap between heaven and earth. Since we emerged from an imperfect medium, Jesus the perfect medium, came to fulfill the Designer’s perfect thought for His design.
Juxtapose Jesus beside us, and we will notice that He is holy, and we are “like filthy rags.” He is sinless, and we are sinful. He is omniscient, and we are ignorant. Thus, perfection came to replace imperfection. Eternal life came to conquer death. Holiness came to expose sin. Jesus is the embodiment of contrast. Jesus taught us how to accept the contrasts in our lives. He taught us how to accept the contrasts in others. In the midst of hate, Jesus loved. In the midst of war, He gave peace. In the midst of His betrayal and arrest, He paused….to befriend his enemy, by healing his ear. And, in the midst of His death, He gave life to a dying thief.
What a Savior! What a cross! What a contrast!
How we view the cross in contrast to our life will determine whether we accept the Perfect Medium sent to redeem us. If we are Christians living a worldly life, we are missing the contrasting example Jesus has set. The road to heaven is narrow, any other road is broad. We cannot travel both. Designers are purposeful about contrasts, to make a powerful point. In most cases, contrasts are bold before the viewer’s eyes; it is extremely hard to ignore. As we would say, “It’s black and white.” That Jesus is the only perfect medium to restore us is so “black and white,” yet it is ignored by many. When we see the contrast of the cross, how can we not cry out like Paul, “Oh wretched man that I am?”
I hope that you will take note of the cross and finish the story of your life in contrast to how it began. I hope that you will begin to be an example of Godly contrast, just like Jesus was. In this way although you emerged from an imperfect medium, the story of your life will end better than any fairy tale…and you became perfect and lived eternally ever after. The end.
Hebrews 2: 9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
References: Genesis 1: 2, Romans 7: 24,
Art: Avocet Brooks