Pictures and Analogies

Let’s talk about pictures and analogies a little today. If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now. Analogies only go so far. To me, analogies seem to work best for adults who don’t press limits. Analogies are a loose way of finding examples. Pictures are funny though, because they have a close relationship to analogies, depending on what you’re writing about. Hence, I’m a little stuck in my current writing project. I want my piece to be biblical rather than analogous, but, well, Jesus used parables for very good reasons.

Visuals can assist understanding. Is there doubt about that? Part of me thinks that, theologically speaking, it’s a lesser shadow of the incarnation. That is, flesh has been elevated and to a lesser degree creation is more awesome because of it. The Word became flesh and words can be reflected in creation, too.

But what about non-physical stuff? Spirits? Do we willy-nilly shortcut to cultural suggestions from various visions and Hallmark stores? I hope not.

Do we jump to something we think can make a point? Maybe. Sometimes. I’ve done it. I do it. It’s just not what I want for this particular project.

I’ll say it. I want this project to be absolutely beyond reproach.

Sigh. Perfectionism makes things harder. As does seeking theological accuracy in pictures. I mean, how do you depict light without any hint of darkness? How do you describe the beginning when the heavenly Father isn’t even pictured on a throne because . . . He hasn’t made thrones yet! When was color even introduced? Is the color spectrum inherent to the light of God or can there be no separating the light of God?!

My friends, I think there are very valid reasons why God uses Words rather than a series of illustrations to pass on the faith.

I’ll get over this. It’s not like a publisher would necessarily give me power over illustrations anyway. I certainly can’t illustrate myself! And, it’s not like the majority of readers care. They don’t. They’re happy to have a little help in this life, which people offer through all sorts of vocations—certainly not perfectly.

Pictures and analogies. Symbols. I like symbols. If you have any insight into how the three of these relate with each other, I’m open to hearing it. Probably I deserve eye-rolling. But I hope some of you can at least sympathize that I’m grasping for thoughts. Sigh.

I once had a draft with images included! AGH! Where did that one go?! Down a proverbial drain.

Shoot, does that mean I add proverbs to pictures, analogies, and symbols? <headdesk> Ah, writer’s life.

This, my friends, is why we should write more than children’s books.

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Filed under As Christian Writers, As Theological Writers, My projects, Theological reflection, Writer Troubles, Writer's Life

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