There is something about the orderliness of lines, angles, and spheres that calls to mind a divine order of things, not in a pre-ordained way, but as a reflection of the ordering of all creation toward God.
The upward reach of the Gothic cathedrals concretized this yearning of creation for the divine, for that which is greater than ourselves, that which brings order into our disorder.
Even architecture which is “gaudi”, disproportional, or unconventional fits into a world plan, the way disorderliness and the unexpected sometimes enter our ordered existence. It has to be acknowledged and dealt with.
Nature doesn’t draw in straight lines. It takes intellect and purpose and a sense of design to bring order into our world–the way God’s spirit breathed over the chaos of the primordial waters and brought forth the order of creation.
It’s for all these reasons that I’m drawn to architectural photography–the contemplation of how all these elements fit together in a coherent whole to provide us with shelter, space, beauty, and utility; the tremendous variety of architectural styles of buildings and other structures reflecting the great creativity of architects; the sense of design, of wholeness and completeness I feel when I contemplate a beautiful structure–from the loftiest skyscraper to the most humble home.
As we enter into this holy season of Advent, we look forward to celebrating the birth of the one who came to bring the order of God’s Reign of peace and justice to the world. We have a long way to go to the perfect realization of the Reign of God. This season of holy longing reminds us that God’s call to bring order out of chaos, to reconcile all creation in Him, continues into our own day.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!