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The Cracked Mosaic of Theology

October 10, 2007

The late Lowell George of Little Feat referred to his music as the search for the “cracked mosaic of rock and roll.” I love that image, and it accurately describes his music. If you’ve ever listened to Little Feat, you might recognize George’s tendency to take familiar structures of rock and blues music but present them in a fractured, twisted form. The chord changes are familiar, but their timing is unpredictable. The timing of chord changes is predictable, but the chords themselves are disorienting. Or the chords and changes are very familiar, but the timing of the melody over them is odd. It is as though he wrote down the familiar elements of rock music on paper, tore up the paper, threw the pieces into the air, and reassembled them randomly.

 

 

In that sense, George’s approach to rock music was essentially deconstructionist and re-constructionist.

 

 

I love that image. “The cracked mosaic.” I think it’s a pretty great metaphor for how God uses us.

 

  • God uses us in our brokenness to create beauty. In fact, it is our brokenness that makes us useful to the Artist.

  • Upon close inspection, we are essentially broken, fractured, lost.

  • We are often used by God in ways we would never have originally anticipated.

  • Often we remain completely unaware of how God is using our lives because we are too close to the picture to discern it properly.

  • We are not used alone but rather in community and relationship with one another.

  • In our temporal lifetimes, we remain incomplete expressions of the life of God.

 

 

Mosaics are often startlingly beautiful works of art. They hold different elements of beauty at different distances. From a long way away they can look like a cohesive whole. Up close, you can spot fragments of broken tile, glass, buttons, paperclips, bottle caps, plastic, metal shards, and other objects. These objects, held together by some sort of adhesive and grout, work together in unexpected and unpredictable ways to create a thing of beauty.

 

We are imperfect, shattered, fragmented. Upon close inspection our brokenness is even more evident. But our brokenness is useful to God, who picks us up and finds a place for us in the cracked mosaic of the Kingdom of God.

 

An example of Lowell George’s “Cracked Mosaic” – Rock and Roll Doctor by Little Feat.

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