I just spent some time praying, asking, “God, what do you want me to write about? What do you want for this community of artists?” These are questions I intend to keep asking, especially before creating. I know I have certain ideas, but what are my ideas when compared to God’s, whose ways are brighter, wiser and higher than ours?
I was confronted with the idea that I do not know most of you. And while I hope to meet you all and get to know you someday, even if I did, there would be untold stories and deep things about you that no human could ever know.
Out of time in prayer and listening, I was left with one impression.
What I do know is that God knows you, and each one of us, so thoroughly and intimately and lovingly that it is hard to imagine. But imagine we must. We must feel the depth of those impressions so that over time, we’re soaked through.
The marvelous truth is that He sees the whole tapestry of your inner world with eyes of knowing embrace.
“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?” Psalm 8:3-4
I recently listened to an artist and friend of mine who spoke a powerful, truthful word over his community, and that was, “you are God’s masterpiece.”
Today, my prayer is that you would rest in knowing that the Maker of the Universe sees you for all you are, flaws and strengths and all, with utter care and love. He sees the totality of you, the unfathomable dimensions that make you, well, you!
Incredibly and wonderfully and joyously, He created you as an artist. What that means, only you and Him really truly know.
I am thinking of those hidden joys and ideas that wake, wriggle with excitement, and bubble to the surface of your blank thought canvas with effervescence, waiting to color it. I am thinking of those secret intentions about the art you want to make. The way you truly want to express yourself!
What if the next time you showed up to your art, you created from the place that embraces every part of you in the way that God already does?
On our Grove artist retreats, I’ve often heard the advice, “if you are too sad or discouraged or tired to paint, then paint about that.”
There is total freedom whichever direction you go, in whichever uncomfortable emotions you carry, as God carries them beneath you. Perhaps you are also flying on the winds of vibrant joyful emotions; your Father has tossed you high up in the air and you are suspended in a wild uncontrollable grin.
Wherever you might be, the whisper, the impression is: Go ahead, and create! With the total freedom of a child, explore every nook and cranny, every secret hideout and hill of the art that makes your soul come alive and run like the wind.