Friday, January 22, 2016


The title isn’t a typo. Read it again, with new capitals and strategically placed dashes…

eart—He art—Heart—Hear the art—h!
When merged together consecutively, the word “earth” spells repetitions of the phrase:
He art, He art, He art,
or the word:
Heart, Heart, Heart,
or the imperative sentence:
Hear the art, Hear the art, Hear the art.

As far as I know, this spelling trick with our planet’s name works only in English, and it’s not something I came up. The interesting story of how I learned of it often comes to mind when I look at the painting I did using this word-play.

In January of 1996, I acted upon a growing desire to learn art by enrolling in an elementary drawing class at a local community college. I ended up taking one each semester, a total of 11 art courses over a five year period.

In the last weeks of a “color theory” class, we were given a very regulated painting assignment for our final. Except for tints and tones, it was to contain just 3 colors. Only 3 sheets of letter-size paper could be used, taped together in any arrangement we chose. And the painting had to contain some form of lettering. I had trouble coming up with an idea for it. But one night shift I got some help from a patient I took care of in labor and delivery.

The previous nurse on the PM shift gave me a fairly straightforward report. It was this patients first pregnancy, and she wanted to try delivering without an epidural. For that reason, shed requested to move to an “ABC” (alternative birth center) room, where she could shower and move more freely about the room to cope with her contractions. An ABC room was soon to be available....

But my dear coworker neglected a “biggie” in her report, which I discovered upon entering the room. As part of her way of dealing with labor, my patient was laboring in the nude. After making sure she didn’t mind having a male nurse, I began to work with her as I would with any other patient.

Most moms dont labor totally naked, but the sight of bare body parts was as normal in my OB job as it was in the figure drawing class I’d taken at the college. Both healthcare and that specific art class can help a person see nakedness with new eyes. They heighten awareness and appreciation of our anatomys fearfully and wonderfully made beauty, rather than treating nudity in terms of sex appeal, which is the ongoing obsession of our depraved culture. Nursing and art didnt dull my vision; they healed it.When I saw this patient’s lovely pregnant form fully exposed, I began imagining the challenge of capturing it on paper in charcoal or pastel.

My way of keeping my nursing care human-friendly was to try having normal social conversations with patients and their families. That’s how I discovered that my patient was an artist. When I shared my own love for art, she gave me a wonderful gift: “EarthEarthEarth.” She explained how running the word “earth” together spells those three things: “heart,” “he art,” and “hear the art.” Immediately, I envisioned the possibilities of using this in my art assignment.

Much to my teacher’s consternation, I was the first of his students in this assignment ever to cut up my three sheets of paper and paste them into a polygon. It was the only shape I could make to fit the circular nature of my project while staying within his limit of 3 sheets of paper. He also chided me for choosing the primaries for my 3 colors, but I told him my composition needed them.

I wanted my art-piece to preach, and I think it did by displaying Earth’s dependence on the Triune Godhead. God is Creator: “HE ART!” God is Lover: “HEART!” God is Teacher: “HEAR THE ART!”

The magnificent beauty of creation came from the mind and hand of an Almighty Father. The gracious redemption of Earth’s wayward human population came from the bleeding heart of God’s loving Son. The call and counsel for us to see and enjoy the divine artistry of Earth’s Designer come from the Holy Spirit. All Three Members of the Trinity are personally connected with the story of Earth, and Earth itself, as a uniquely designed and carefully placed planet, points to our need for personally connecting with its Triune Creator. (addendum) Some months after posting this blog article, I wrote a poem about it.... EARTH, EARTH, EARTH
He Art, He Art He Art He Art,
before . . . behind our earthly start,
when—by His strong creative hand
that formed the sea and motherland—
He sculpted dust for lasting worth:
He Art, HE art made EArtH EartH Earth.

His Heart, His Heart, His Heart Heart Heart,
seeking a world that fell apart,
pursuing souls who breathed His breath
to rescue them from realms of death—
re-image them by second birth:
His Heart, Heart Heart for eartH earth Earth.

Now Hear the Art . . . yes, Hear the Art,
Who sings, a course divine to chart!
Inspiring Guide for human tales
blows living breeze to hoist our sails!
His wind instills artistic mirth:
O, Hear the Art call eArtH EartH Earth!

Lost children of this groaning Earth,
return and find your pristine worth
as portraits of the Triune Love
in Father, Savior, Spirit Dove:
re-taste what Life and Light impart
from He Art, Heart, and Hear the Art!

— David L. Hatton, 6/28/2016