(an imagined juxtaposition of Hosea and Picasso -- the Picasso parts are based on actual quotes from the artist)
I create by destroying, I give to the world by taking. The broken are the fools who do not believe in their own genius. He can who thinks he can, and he can't who thinks he can't. This is an inexorable, indisputable law. I acknowledge no other. I am because I am, and I am sufficient. It is enough to be me.
You have called me to love as You love, and my heart is broken. I am not God, I am a man, and my heart cannot stretch this far without breaking. You have given me a broken woman as my wife, a woman who has no interest in fidelity, a person reduced to a commodity to be bought and sold. How can I even be certain that my children are my own? Nothing is truly mine, yet all is Yours, and I fall into the hole between desire and fulfilment—yet even this crevasse is not so deep that Your love is not deeper! I have seen, not just in the faithlessness of Gomer, but in the shallowness of my own heart how weak and fickle a people we truly are and how great is your constancy.
There are only two types of women, goddesses and doormats, and I know what to do with each. Fidelity? What is that but a crude form of bondage? Only the masters matter, those who create. God? He is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things. Love? Love is the greatest refreshment in life. It serves me, I do not serve it.
How shall I speak of Your love? We flail, we flee, we fall apart into infidelity, and you remain constant. We cannot fall outside the compass of your love. You are the husband who is faithful to His faithless bride, the father who cannot give up on His errant child. I have held the pieces of my heart in their bleeding confusion through the lonely watches of the darkness, knowing that the one I gave my own name to is revelling in another’s arms. And I have seen that my Gomer is Israel writ small. But, in response must my love grow to be as tender as yours? And as I grapple with betrayal I dare to wonder a thing I scarcely dare to put into words: is there some sense in which the maker of the universe, the almighty Lord of Hosts, has a broken heart?
Truth? Why do people make so much of it? If there were only one truth you couldn’t paint a hundred canvasses on the same theme! The world today doesn’t make any sense, so why should I paint pictures that do? We all know that art is not truth, art is a lie that makes us realise the truth. We must pick out what is good for us where we can find it.
You alone are truth, and your love is the highest truth that we can know. You love us as a husband who stays true to an untrue wife, as a father who cannot give up his wayward and rebellious children but holds them still closer in His heart. We stumble gracelessly through the motions of living, constructing our own truths, but that is a folly which ends in dust and ashes. Choose our good for us, Oh Lord, for you are the only one who is wholly right the only one who is holy.
If I had been a priest I would have become pope, but I am an artist so I became Picasso. It is all about me – I am!
Lord, heal our waywardness and teach us to love as you love. We are nothing without you