following are some photos, and a snippet of my talk on art and healing, which i gave this sunday at the Wild Goose Festival… bless you. e.
It is in love that we find our true calling. A calling that rises above weight and numbers and dress sizes. A calling that says we are made in God’s holy image, and what does this mean?
It means, we were created to give God a face.
Maybe this is done in the way you serve a customer at Wendy’s, or through the way you mop floors or fold the laundry, or maybe it’s in the way you splash paint on canvas.
However you do it, you are an extension of God on this earth. You are made to reflect his beauty. And I believe that this is a largely untapped secret in the Christian world. I believe that if we were to truly realize the identity we had in Christ, we could move mountains. We could show such extravagant mercy and compassion and gentleness, and we could die for one another and to ourselves, while creating masterpieces of music and art and literature because we wouldn’t be. Instead, he would. God would be, within us.
And this is where art comes in. Art allows us to lose ourselves, and to find him. It’s a fleeing from who the world says we are, into the person God says we are: redeemed, forgiven, and destined. God is our home. The only place in which we truly belong.
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:
“You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home…. A holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.”
I started sketching and doing collages at a young age, and then when I got married, I became a painter, and the painting helped me through my disordered eating even as sketching and collages helped me as a child.
If it wasn’t for art, and the relief it allowed me—the hope that somewhere, a candle burned for me, that somehow, I was more than my reflection in the mirror—I don’t think I would be here today. That sounds drastic but truly, there is a power in creating that allows for a sense of peace. Of rightness. Of knowing that, in spite of all of the chaos and uncertainty in the world, I am blessed, and I am loved.
It’s the same kind of feeling I have when I’m taking care of any of my four boys. The exhausted delirious joy of knowing that in doing this, in nurturing life, I am pleasing God. I am in the center of his will. I am home.
And while I still care way too much what other people think, I pray that one day, this sense of security in Something Bigger, this abundant joy in pleasing him, will be the only thing that matters.
The fact that I am a co-creator with God.