As our family was prepping for a garage sale one year, I discovered a small piece of pottery my sister had made at school in one of the boxes of ‘for sale’ items. When I asked why it had been placed in the box, my question was met with a “well…” We have laughed about it in years since, as families do with awkward moments like that, but the message that moment conveyed was clear: art isn’t art unless it meets a certain expectation.
Now, as an adult, I am discovering that I am not alone in this experience. I am also learning that deep down we all need art, and not just paintings hanging on our walls from great artists, but our art – our words, our creations, our brushstrokes – because the process of creating art offers a window into our souls.
Do you feel like there’s an artist within you who is waiting to break free; to rise, breathe fresh air, and spread her wings, but lies dormant because of fear? Fear that her work may be lesser than and therefore not enough?
So often, I think we let ourselves live lives that are safe because we are terrified that revealing our true selves will result in loneliness. That the parts of our pasts and our presents that are considered “ugly” will not yield beauty, but rather isolation.
So, how do we overcome this fear? I think we do so by first identifying art that speaks to our hearts.
When you close your eyes and think of art, what do you see? When you think of poetry, a novel, or a piece of music, what writers, storytellers, or composers come to mind? What movies, films, or photographs make you feel understood and connected to others?
This is where we start.
Maybe you have already discovered your inner artist, but don’t trust your instincts. Maybe you’re in the middle of a project, but are having doubts. Maybe you need encouragement to live the creative life God has called you to live, but don’t know where to turn. If so, I’m so glad you’re here because you’re not alone. Here is another soul who faces these same questions, who wants to branch out into new things, who believes God has a plan for a life of creative Christianity, but sometimes, many times, wonders exactly what that means and what others will think of her.
We’re here at this table together, friend. And maybe we’ll paint or write or pray or listen, but it’s all art. It’s all part of the grand masterpiece of His design and we are part of it. We are the brushstrokes, the captured moments, the words on a page smudged with tears that say You too? Heavens be praised, I’m not the only one.
Let’s make art. Let’s get messy and find sunshine in the rain. Let’s capture moments that speak to our souls and connect with others seeking to do the same. Let’s draw and paint and write. Let’s doodle and scribble and make a holy mess because that’s where God is. He’s in it all.