January 23, 2015
By Jane Tawel
Tagline: In entertainment, a tagline (or tag line) is a small amount of text which serves to clarify a thought for, or designed with a form of, dramatic effect. Many tagline slogans are reiterated phrases associated with an individual, social group, or product. (Wikipedia)
Tagging: (Urban Dictionary) Somewhat graphiti. A way of signing your name anonomously. Sometimes people use random words, like Spalt, or also symbols. Hey man, me and Elliot went tagging last night, why didn’t you show?”
Tag: 1. a label attached to someone or something for the purpose of identification or to give other information. 2. A small piece or part that is attached to a main body. 3. A recurrent or characteristic verbal expression.(various dictionaries)
Since starting this blog yesterday I am on a steep learning curve. When you post on your blog, you should tag words so that any one who is searching for information will accidently stumble on your post by searching for the words you have tagged. For instance, in this second post I am tagging the words, “sex”, “party”, “earn money”, and “Obama”. None of these tags will have anything to do with this posting but I figure it will get me lots and lots of accidental views.
Tagging is not a new human endeavor, it is as old as cave-women. I realized as I was looking up the definition of various forms of the word “tag” that I believe quite deeply in tagging. Tagging has to do with art, words, labels, design, drama, clarification, names – in other words, important things.
Tagging is “random” and “designed”. This paradox is perfect when you consider how many things that completely and profoundly effect your life are random – where you are born, whom you are born to, and when you are born. And yet, many of us believe there is a Designer to the pattern of our lives. It’s a random purposeful paradox. I believe we are “designed with a form” and yes, this is often to “dramatic effect”, but I also believe that we are all dealt a rather random hand and we play it to the best of our ability.
Psalms 139 poetically proclaims: “For You formed (tagged) my inward parts; You wove (tagged) me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (tagged); Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame (tagline) was not hidden from You, When I was made (tagged) in secret, And skillfully wrought (tagged) in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained (tagged) for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”
We have been tagged by God. The Creator has “signed His name” on the very fabric of our being. “For the purpose of identification” we have been “labeled”.
But how many times in my life have I ignored God’s tag line on my soul and painted over His masterpiece with my own graffiti?
I am constantly trying to write a tagline: “a small amount of text that serves to clarify a thought”. Here is today’s:
How many times have you heard that you are God’s masterpiece? We tend to think of the definition of “masterpiece” as it has evolved to mean –the highest achievement of the master artist. But it first meant something a bit different. A masterpiece, or meisterstuck, or masterstik, was a term that referred to the work produced by an apprentice or journeyman in a guild, who “aspired to become like his master craftsman”. The apprentice was judged on whether he successfully produced a piece of art that would be judged by knowledgeable artists to be like that of the master. In other words, those who judged the quality of the work would not be able to discern the difference between the masterpiece of the apprentice and the Masterpiece of the Master.
For instance, the hand of God of the apprentice of Michelangelo would be indistinguishable from the hand of God of Michelangelo himself. Jane Tawel’s sonnet on comparing you to a summer day would be indistinguishable from Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer day?” And the “little Christ’s” masterpieces of life, would be indistinguishable from The Christ’s Masterlife. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (Eph. 5:1) “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (I John 3:2)
That is just plain impossible. If I set out today to imitate Michelangelo, I could spend five hundred million years working at it, and at the end of five hundred million years, it would still look something like this:
Actually those of you who know that I have absolutely no visual artistic talent at all know my drawing of a hand would never look this good.
But then I don’t know how to draw. I don’t have the gift of drawing. Honestly, I don’t even like to draw. But:
- I know how to live.
- I have the gift of living.
- I like to live.
I have been created and formed and wired and taught and inspired and encouraged to live. And I have a Master Craftsman who came to live among us, who still lives among us, and who desires us to choose to live with Him forever. I was tagged at great price in order that I might live, and “yet not I but Christ live in me”. (Gal. 2:20)
So why would I not choose to imitate my Master? He lived a perfect life – a masterpiece in the sense of the highest accomplishment a Master Artist can create.
This summer my family went to the Art Institute of Chicago. When you see a master work by a true artist: 1. You know you are seeing something that should be humanly impossible and yet is right there in reality before you– for your eyes to see. 2. You could see it a hundred times and always feel and see and understand something new and have new questions that would draw you back to see it again and again. 3. It connects to a deep part of you that you cannot explain. 4. It gives you not just happiness but joy; it is transforming, and it makes you want to be a better person, just by having had a short relationship with the masterpiece– you want more.
This is the effect that the life of Christ should have on us. We view His master work and we can hardly believe it, we have questions, but we want more; He connects to a deep part of us we can’t completely understand but which brings us joy; we are transformed.
Now hold on to your seats – consequently, this is the effect that my life should have on others.
Raoul and I were privileged last week to attend a Guitar Concert with master musicians. The music they created hit me in the solar plexis – it spoke to that deep, eternal part of me called the soul. The Imago Dei of the artist is just that – Humanity as it was created to be – like a god. And when artists play alone it is incredible but when they create together? Well, then we understand the idea that we are tagged to create together. We create human lives together just as God the Three created life together. We create a home full of love together, as God creates a home for us, this world and the next, so we can live and be eternally creating together. This is a glimpse of what it should mean to be part of the body of Christ. As a single tag, I am created to be:”a small piece or part that is attached to a main body”. “so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5) We are closest to God’s idea of masterpiece when we are part of a great Whole — a unique part, necessary for the beauty of the masterpiece, but a tag in something even bigger — the Sistine Chapel, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Symphony, the non-abridged version, the Life of Christ.
Each day, I get the choice of a tagline. When I get up, I can set out to end my day with a tagline that matters – not just to me, but to someone else I encounter in my day. It might look like a simple drawing of a cup of water, but if done well, it will be a masterpiece. I have the Master’s promise that if “I draw a cup of water and give it to someone with Christ’s tagline on it”, great will be my reward and the performance halls of heaven will ring with applause. I will be judged on how closely my tag is to that of the Master Artist. But each evening I can ask for help, so that tomorrow my life is just a little bit closer to The Perfect One’s Master-life.
And when someone writes, my final tagline, what will they remember as the “reiterated phrase associated with me”? These three things remain: Faith, Hope and Love but the greatest is Love.
As Francis Schaeffer once famously said, “How shall we then live?” if we have been tagged in the image of God?
Okay, I’ve tagged myself. Now, tag – you’re it.