Grace has the character of an intimate flow that wells up gently, filling our broken places and bringing us closer to God. But, paradoxically, it’s also boundless and awesome, filled with the unending riches of mercy that Paul describes in Ephesians 2:5: “alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” In their effortless lilting rhythm, dancing nymphs adequately capture the aspect of grace as the delicate tenderness in God’s love and the relational energy of interdependence amidst creation. But how to visualize the abundant aspect of grace?
In this essay on the theme of grace, published in Contemplative Light, I examine the drawings of contemporary artist Vija Celmins. I frame Celmins's "Ocean" drawings as representations of the idea of grace as the flow of God's love. In addition, I place these images in the context of the Classical tradition in art.
The Circe Institute featured an alternative version of the essay on their website.