FARRELL MARR (1952-2019)
“Art is the reflection of God’s creativity; an evidence that we are made in the image of God.”
The details are fuzzy, but the impact was powerful. I think it was a One-Way Street Conference in Maryland in the early 1990s. It was very early in my ministry. A man named Farrell Marr was introduced by Dale Von Seggen and he proceeded to perform a puppet presentation to “Variations on a Hymn” by Glad. I was NOT prepared for what happened next. The presentation was seamless despite the challenging material. The puppetry was fantastic. Backgrounds were elaborate and well done. Costuming was clever and extensive. But the thing…..It was SOOOO creative. Have you seen the new GMC Truck commercial with the drop down tailgate where everyone’s mouth falls open? That’s it. That’s the response I had. I sought him out as soon as I could and gave him what I consider the ultimate compliment to another creative artist: “You make me want to be better”.
In 33 years of full time ministry, I have only met one other person as creative as Ferrell Marr and that was David Simpich. Throughout those years, he continued to amaze me with his creativity. When trying to think of an idiom that describes him, the phrase ‘second nature’ came to mind. But, I don’t think that does his Spirit justice. Creativity really was ‘first nature’ to him. He always looked at life with a cosmic perspective. It was as if, he saw all the possibilities. Perhaps, in the end, he just exploded because a human body can’t contain that type of energy.. It reminds me of God in the Holy of Holies or Aladdin in the bottle. This world was small; too small.
If art IS a reflection of God’s creativity, Ferrell Marr gave us a wonderful glimpse of heaven on earth. Rest briefly, my friend, until we join you and are finally all released into the greater purpose that God has for us….which is NOT here. Let he who began the good work in you be faithful to complete it in heaven where we will once again enjoy and admire your gifts.