Last week I shared what I considered a terrific blog written by our daughter Heidi. Today I share the mission statement of our daughter Becca. Though it’s for business (“Sasquatch Arts”), it is not boring. It is brave and interesting, because she takes a risk. Though she didn’t follow the pattern of her sister, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother and become a pastor’s wife, she is a devout Christian and fearless witness for Jesus Christ. In fact, as you read on, you’ll find that is the purpose of her company, making it more of a ministry than a business. That’s why I’m a proud papa – because both our girls, each in their own way are faithfully sharing the truth to which Cheryl and I have given our lives!
He’s Waiting to Be Found.
My mission is much more a story than a statement.
Have you ever stared at something for ages and never seen a hidden detail that suddenly, in one moment of revelation, pops out at you? Have you ever entered a room you have entered a hundred times before, only to discover a new element that has always existed but never caught your eye before?
My hope and dream is that when you see my art, you are surprised by what you never would have thought you would find.
If you ever have visited my booth, you will see a giant wood-burned drawing of a Sasquatch next to a large format print of the Columbia River Gorge, taken near Multnomah Falls, Oregon.
Above this plywood art piece the easel reads: “CAN YOU FIND THE SASQUATCH HIDDEN IN THIS PHOTO?” So I ask my customers: “Have you found him yet?” The responses are typically the same four responses:
1. “He’s right there,” as the customer points at the large wood-burned image of Sasquatch. These people think I am pulling their leg and it is a trick question. Or they are being funny with me, because they know that is the easy, albeit incorrect, answer.
2. They do not say anything. They look at me with skeptical eyes, then back at the photo. Then they either (A) shake their head because they are still looking or (B) chuckle slightly, not sure if he is actually in the photo or if I am pulling their leg.
3. Dismissal, sure I am being a jokester (or a hoax artist) trying to pull one over on them.
4. “Not yet.” They believe he is there, but they need more time. This is when I will offer help, sometimes help which is taken, sometimes help which is turned down because they want more time to find him. Eventually, these are the things that happen.
1. They walk away, still not sure if there really is a Sasquatch hidden there. (Or convinced he is not.)
2. They or a friend finally find him, and then they exclaim, “OH! There he is! He is really there!” And then they laugh, chuckle, celebrate, and start talking jovially with me about my art and why I do what I do.
3. They ask for help. “Okay, where is he?” I show them, and then they proceed with the exclamations, celebration, and delight.
So why do I do what I do? Why do I hide a Sasquatch in every photograph?Well, let me tell you.
It is because of faith. “Faith in what?,” you might ask. Is that not the question of every human being? Because we all have faith. Faith in something. (“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)) It might be in life. It might be in love. It might be in goodness. It might be in science. It might be in religion. It might even be in Sasquatch. But we all believe in something, and that is what drives us.
WHAT WE BELIEVE IN MAKES US WHO WE ARE.
I believe in Jesus, as Christ, God, and Savior of the world. If we can believe in Sasquatches, creatures that very well may exist among us, why can we not believe in a much more easily seen Creator who persists in His existence through every exposure of Himself in His nature, in His woods, in His skies, in His seas, in His mountains, in the life that charges through each and every one of us, our minds, our bodies, our souls? And that faith, that belief makes me who I am: a passionate soul; a person with strong convictions; a Sasquatch artist.
Now I will explain what this has to do with my art.
People wonder at the fairy-tale art they see before them when I tell them that if they go looking they will find a Sasquatch hidden amidst the scenery. Some people immediately believe me, and they are determined to find him. And it is those people who ALWAYS DO! It might take help from a friend or the artist herself, but if they are willing to look closely, they absolutely NEVER are disappointed in their search.
Others, they are skeptical and unconvinced of whether he is really in the photos. Some want him to be but are not sure. These are the people who may find him, but they also may not. They are not convinced, so it is unsure whether or not they will. A lot of that is left up to their level of interest in finding out the answer. The importance of the answer to them will determine how long they will search before giving up the hunt or finding success in the end.Finally, a third set of people just walk away. They either do not care, or they are disinterested or even distasteful towards the prospect. These people never see him.
It is much like my faith in my Jesus. Some people want to see Him, and if they go looking, they ALWAYS find him in the end. Others, it really is up in the air whether or not they will look long enough and with open enough hearts to believe that He might exist, might be their God. Others, they do not want to even hear or engage in the discussion. They walk away, and these are the people that never find him.
My mission is to open people’s minds to belief, to faith in something in which they do not already believe. We all believe in something, but, for you, is it only the things you can see that will be given your faith in them? Will you look at a photograph and only see what meets the eye? Or will you believe that something else might be there if you just go looking?
My photographs of Sasquatch are not real. To be clear, they do not depict any real creature I have seen or found. They are not intended as photojournalism or to be used outside of artistic and creative purposes. They are, however, my vision of what Sasquatch would look like if we find him, and they toy a bit with the notion of how he may have escaped our notice for so very long!
He is likely living life in our world around us, primarily unseen and unnoticed; and he may even have looked at us or watched us at times. He may see us, but my guess is most of the time we will completely miss him.
I do not know if Bigfoot is real. I have no proof. But I believe he exists; I want him to exist. I want him to exist, because if He is proven real, maybe we are one step closer to our world believing that the unbelievable is possible, that what we cannot see with our eyes we can believe in with our hearts until that one day when our faith is proven true.
TO SHARE THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST JESUS.
“And when they saw Him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'” Matthew 28:17-20 (ESV)
So look at my art. Look at my photographs. And if you can find a Sasquatch hidden in them, I challenge you, I DARE YOU to go looking for Jesus, too. Because, I promise you: He’s out there, and…
…He’s Waiting to Be Found.