Reflected peace is the proof that you are right with God because you are at liberty to turn your mind to him. – Oswald Chambers
Oup là ! and Mélanie dans les airs were made on the same day, and both pieces feature a young girl with big hair engaged in recreational activity. The similarities, however, end there. Mélanie has come dressed for the rings. Her form is impeccable, her concentration unflappable. She flies skillfully through the air, calm and fearless, secure in her body. The redhead, on the other hand, couldn’t be more unprepared for her sport. She is barefoot, for starters, and wearing only a little summer dress. She lacks form, she has little control over her gangly legs and arms. She is surprised by the ball that has come at her from behind. She kicks it, yes, but only by accident.
Following on the heels of Oup là ! and Mélanie dans les airs is a piece called Mauvaises nouvelles. If the artist lends her hands to the inner child, and this child, like all children, is close to God, then the letter in the mouse’s hands can only be news from the Almighty. It’s bad news, but nothing new as far as news goes. The mouse was born with this news; it’s imprinted on his heart: his days are numbered; his body is going to die. When it does, what will he have to show for himself but that which he carries in his heart?
Nothing good, for the moment. This mouse’s heart is as hard and dry as a shriveled-up potato. He is guilty of being unkind and impatient, and of lacking empathy for others. He is quick to judge and slow to forgive. He is mean, he is cruel, and not just to strangers, but to friends and family. He lies, he cheats. He is prey to envy, lust, vanity, greed, and pride. Especially pride, the root of all evil, the source of his ultimate problem, which is that of being a self-righteous bitch. Not in the modern sense of the word, though he is fairly guilty of that, too, but rather in its biblical sense.
The self-righteous bitch ignores God’s will, disobeys his commands, and believes that she is in control of, and can thus manipulate, her own destiny. As a consequence, she finds herself alone during times of trouble with no one to ease her anxieties and fears and confusion, with no one to help her understand what life might be trying to tell her. She is the redhead, running awkwardly and aimlessly out there on the field.
The righteous bitch, on the other hand, is right with God. She accepts God’s will, obeys his commands, delights in fulfilling his plan for her, finds refuge in him during times of trouble, and is comforted by his infinite ability to love and forgive. She is Mélanie, floating gracefully through the air, unafraid; God will not let her fall.
You’re going to die, the letter says. Not necessarily today or tomorrow or next week or next year. Maybe not even for a long time. The when doesn’t matter. What does matter is how you live the days you have left. You want them to be peaceful? You want them to be free from suffering? Turn your mind and your heart to God, and they will be. Don’t, and they won’t. Consider yourself warned, you self-righteous little bitch.