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Makoto Fujimura's paintings require a lot of looking at before you begin to see them. His prose, likewise, demands patient consideration on the way to understanding. Simple, straightforward sentences laid down precisely, layer upon layer, build into complex images and meanings. The reader reads, stops, reads again, sees again what was apparent the first time, only now there is a new depth, an added nuance. "Oh," says the reader and reads again. So it goes. One simply cannot not read Fujimura quickly any more than one might take in his paintings at a glance.

After plowing through N. T. Wright's foreward to Art and Faith by Makoto Fujimura, it's best if a reader takes a deep breath, and recalibrates to proceed at a measured contemplative pace. This isn't to discount Wright's insight into Fujimura's work, but Wright isn't known for applying a light touch to anything he addresses. He can be a bit like the country preacher who tells us what he is going to say, then says it, then explains what he has just said, by which time he needs to remind us again of his original point.

You can skip the foreword and start with Fujimura and get his message just fine, which is touching, enlightening, beautiful, and finally astounding and transformative. You don't have to be a practicing artist in any particular craft to find liberation and empowerment in Makoto Fujimura's message, founded on his premise that all human making is essentially a spiritual endeavor.

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