Artists are those who reflect and wonder at things that most people pass by without a second thought. They are those who search, who look for meaning in the simple things, because they know there is a reason, they know there is beauty if they just look hard enough. If they just take the time to explore it in a string of spontaneous notes and chords, or words on a page, or strokes of their brush or movements of a dance.
We are seekers. As creative people, we seek truth in the mysteries. We unveil what is hidden from normal sight. We seek to discover the beauty of those small moments that often go unnoticed. Unacknowledged. I’ve mentioned something similar before, but we are those who create pockets for people. Through our music, our words and poetry, our unique ways of looking at life, we open up a space for people to get away and rediscover what really makes them come alive. We have the unique power and responsibility to realign, to put everything back into proper perspective.
Not all artists do this, mind you. But when we do, I believe we are on the right track in our calling. We are not called to confuse people with meaningless art, we are called to lead people into the deepest parts of themselves, where they remember the dreams they had as children, where they can take the time to see and appreciate the life they’ve been given and the gifts in the people around them.
To me, art is space. To many, it’s an escape. It has the ability to pull us away from our daily mundane existence and stir up desires and move our hearts and souls. I think calling art an escape is too tame. Instead of a means of escaping, I think art is meant to awaken us to live like we’re really supposed to. It reminds us of what we really deep down believe are the most important things, instead of the things our logical and control-hungry minds constantly try to convince us to fill our time with.
I just had the privilege and opportunity to spend a weekend listening to and worshipping with a very anointed worshipper and artist named Jason Upton. Something he mentioned during the time at our church was that we need to create sanctuaries. To me, this means taking time to breathe, taking time to sit in silence before moving onto the next thing. Taking time to listen. To listen to the sounds often ignored, but also to listen to God. To take deep breaths, turn off the music, tune out the distractions for even a few seconds and smile at the beauty around us and inside of us. To create a space to let God in. To let go of control, to forget for a moment about what is coming next.
Because we miss so much when we know where we’re going. Jason said something similar this weekend. Don’t get me wrong—it is not bad to know where we’re going and especially to have vision. But I don’t want to get so caught up in the future that I never even get there, because eventually the future will become the present, and I’ll miss it. Constantly looking to another future is not living.
I want to create sanctuaries. Moments when I sit and remember who God is. When I sit and listen to the new things he is saying and doing. Because I want to go with him. And I want to be an artist who draws others into this mysterious and beautiful journey of holding God’s hand and letting him lead us into the darkness, where we have no idea what to expect. Space. Pockets. Breathing in deep and being okay with not knowing everything. Creating space to let God just come and breathe into me, just tell me how he sees me, just tell me what he thinks about life, about everything that is happening. To see his smile and know that he is not mad or uptight or concerned, but he is full of joy with an inviting mysterious wink in his eye, daring us to dive in and see what we might discover with him. If we would just let go of our heads and embrace wonder again.
He has so much more for us. I feel it. I feel it drawing my resistant heart, I feel it calling to my mind to drown out its distractions and believe in what seems illogical and impossible. He has so much. Who wants to go with me?