So I guess people are actually reading my posts on my blog, at least the most recent comments would suggest at least two people are. Wonder of wonders! That’s encouraging! Though I must say, one of the comments was written far better than anything I could write; I was even becoming mad with the person they were talking about! Then I realized…
…oh, it’s me!
It seems everywhere I turn these days I hear a Christian talking about the arts. I was just on the phone yesterday with a dear friend who is thinking about starting a school for the arts, but unlike anything ever done before. And considering this guy has the means and experience to do so, I don’t doubt he will. Not wishing to disclose his ideas at present, that subject will have to wait.
But not an hour later, I’m with my dear friend Dudley Danielson, an amazing writer/photographer in his own right, who hands me a “jewel”: an out of print issue of Melody Green’s “The Last Days Magazine,” and in it an amazing article by Andrew Sievright entitled, “What’s The Church Doing With The Powerful Gift of Art?” If you can find it, read it. It will change your life.
But one of Sievright’s points identifies the next “Christian Renaissance.” Next to Jesus coming back, I dare say nothing could inspire me more.
If there was ever a need for the Church to stand up tall and strong, it is now. The world needs to notice Her beauty, and not because she’s blending in with them, but because she is so unqiuly stunning that she makes all else pale in comparison. Minstrel Michael Tyrrell makes this point so clear in his song “Beautiful Mountain,” when he says, “Stand tall, beautiful mountain, your foundation is sure. Stand tall, beautiful mountain, till your waters run pure.”
I had the privilege of doing a photo shoot with Dudley yesterday. With my wife toting the wardrobe duties, as well as make-up, and even holding up sun screens against the glaring direct sunlight, the three of us wandered about the gorgeous Boldt Castle BoatHouse located on Wellesley Island in the beautiful 1,000 Islands. Privileged to have this spectacular scenery not 20 minutes from our home, it was a delight to be with my wife and my brother in the Lord, making art for the King. Between Dudley’s prolific skill, a vast photographic repertoire spanning over half a century, and the fact that these photos were taken for my second novel, I couldn’t help but feel giddy, immersed in the world of creating marvelous art for the Kingdom.
Everywhere we turned, Dudley found a new angle, a new potential masterpiece. It wasn’t until we made our way into one of the old turrets of the BoatHouse, currently closed to the public (we call that “favor”), and found a 100 year old stair case, that the juices really started flowing.
I guess what I’m realizing is that it’s not only our right as the Bride of Christ to make art that surpasses the world’s, but it should be our joy as well. We should be excited to be setting the standard.
Which raises another point: if you’re not excited, are you making the right art? In the right way? For the right cause? With the right people?
I think we all could drum up any number of excuses to justify, and even defend, our “turmoil,” but are they true? And is that really the heart of the Father for us in our art-making? Or does He intend for us, as I believe He has all along, to be so full of joy, and find so much fulfillment, that the world would not only marvel at our fruit, but also at our labor? I couldn’t help but think that even the winter staff at the BoatHouse noticed our fun, and smiled at they watched.
Though that BoatHouse was all of 10 degrees Fahrenheit inside, I found great joy, even while changing shirts, laughing at the privilege afforded me. Who in the world gets to do this? Then I realized again…
…oh, me, again. I do. A son of the Most High, rightful heir to the Kingdom of Heaven.
And my hope is that you would see yourself the same way.
Thanks for spending time with me today,