April 12, 2011

What Does Your Art Express?

I've had the opportunity and privilege over the past two days to spend some time working on my novel. Sitting at the computer, waiting for something to type onto the screen, I found myself playing spider solitaire more often than actually writing anything. It occurred to me that art is far more challenging that it first appears.

Over the past six months or so, Mark and I have been carried from the "newlywed" phase to a phase of exploring what God has called us specifically to do as a married couple- what is our ministry? What vision are we going to stake our lives in? What expression of the Kingdom do we see God building up around us and through us?

We know the overarching, big picture call on our lives- to reform the arts for the glory of God- but with a call like that, where on earth do you start?

It's easy to write fluff. It's easy to make something that sounds psuedo-spiritual, that ignites some sort of emotional reaction. It's easy to fulfill the worldly purpose of arts. It's easy to express yourself. But what if that isn't the purpose of art? What if our own egos and narcissism have overtaken something that God intended to change the world?

God's art isn't about us, because life isn't about us. God's art is difficult. It's difficult to create, and sometimes even more difficult to accept. It isn't just something to draw, write, paint, sing, or play. It's something you have to walk out. You can't write a song that declares "I was dead, now I'm alive," and continue to live as though you were dead.

Consecrated art doesn't express US. Consecrated art expresses GOD.

On Aprils

Ten years ago, I sat in the dining hall of a Christian camp. A man my father's age sat with me. It was April, and I had no idea... I had...