As I returned from this OM Arts trip to Prague and the Czech Republic, it was interesting to take a step back and think about how God has been working in this country, and in the people we have had the privilege to work along side of.
This was my third trip back to Prague. I am finding that, with every trip back, I feel a little more comfortable with the language and culture, a little more familiar with finding my way through the city. I am beginning to fell more comfortable with the idea of using the art which I create as a starting point for communication, relationship and sharing how Christ enters and transforms our lives.
This year, we actually ran two separate outreaches, first in České Budějovice (about 2 hours south of Prague), and then in the Náměstí Míru (Square of Peace) in the center of Prague.
I am always fascinated by the way art both illustrates and defines our culture. In the park in the center of České Budějovice, there was a series of large, shiny, stainless steel sculptures, celebrating “Fast Women and Hot Cars”. While I think there was no small bit of sarcasm in the sculptures, they still illustrate society’s worship of pleasure, power and success.
Contrasting this was a beautiful bronze sculpture of a young girl reaching up to a flying dove, standing in the lawn surrounding the Square of Peace. The square extends out from the front of one of the large cathedrals in the center of the city, and is surrounded by a small park with walkways, trees and gardens. It’s a small haven of peace in the center of the bustling, noisy city, and a perfect location for our second outreach. The statue, erected in 1979 (during the Communist era), speaks a very different message, of our longing for the peace and innocence we have lost, a peace and innocence which we know we can only find in a living relationship with Christ.
As we were walking through the area the day before we began the outreach, I found myself thinking about the Father’s heart for the people of the Czech Republic, how He longed to have the Czech people return to Him as children. I started praying that He would reveal Himself through us and our work in the square. As I was walking in the shadow of the “Peace” sculpture, I heard some noises off beyond a couple of the trees, and looked to see a small child running around his father. The father was leisurely walking through the grass, and his little boy was (as little boys often do) roaring and pretending to be a fierce lion, hiding behind the trees, and then jumping out to “ambush” his father. I had to chuckle as God pointed the two of them out to me, and told me that, just as this father was quietly enjoying playing with his son, Our Heavenly Father finds infinite joy in the time He spends with us, even as we laugh and play as little children.