It happened again yesterday. It's an innocent question and one that comes up often in our society.
"What do you do?"It's not a real tricky question, except when it is.
The answer for years was that I was a stay at home mom. My reply evolved into more later on. I would include things like photography, scrapbooking, and eventually "I write. I am a writer." Still, Artist is a hard title to claim because we assume it carries with it expertise and perfection.
In this season of adjusting to an empty nest and starting a new church, I find myself once again at a loss for words to describe what it is exactly that I do.
What I do is this:
I leak Art.
I leak art. While artist is still an intimidating title, I have come to find that everything I do is a form of art. Whether it is pouring out words in person or online; whether it is taking a picture or painting a picture; whether it is creating something artsy on purpose or simply living my life out loud and watching how He makes something beautiful out of it. I leak art.
Or, as Emily Freeman says it,
"He comes into us, then comes out of us, in a million little ways."
I love that. I love the truth of it and the freedom in it. I love how it is inclusive and intimate... that our creative God creates us in His image and fills us fresh every day. He fills us and watches how we overflow and leak out wherever we go!
Art can be detailed or vague, loud or quiet, gentle or bold, bright or dark... It can be one extreme or the other, but while beauty is subjective - art is always beautiful and important... maybe not to you, but to someone. It's always beautiful and important to God because it is an expression of who we are, and who we are is His.
We can express ourselves artistically in so many ways. I love to write and paint pictures with words, but I'm also learning to love to paint pictures with actual paint... I love to capture beauty with my camera, but I am learning to capture it in moments of silence, just drinking it in and appreciating it as a gift just for me.
Making meals, brewing coffee, working out, gardening, even laundry can be art. The daily part of our lives that seem drab and boring... even those can be turned into art in the Creators' nail-scarred hands. He makes all things beautiful... and that includes us. But it doesn't stop with us, or at least it shouldn't! We are His hands and feet and we have Him living inside of us. I think He is longing to leak out! To shine through our list of errands or mundane tasks. To be the words we speak or hugs we offer... to create art right alongside of us, reaching out and lifting up.
He is ready to create with each of us - uninhibited and free to play. I encourage you to watch and see what He will do when you step up and are willing to find art in your every day.
Oh - you will find it!
It is there, because He is there.
Yesterday He was there in my quiet time. I was invaded by the Artist as He painted me a picture to help me better see the importance of partnering with Him in creating art. I felt the Spirit in a gentle breeze, soft yet constant, and He reminded me that this art --these gifts that He has placed within us, they are like seeds to sow. We can hang on to them clinch-fisted and hidden, or with palms wide open letting the Wind take them and plant them wherever they need to be.
And my heart cried out,
"Lord, scatter me!"
In our church, we're passionate about bringing back the Arts. From Spoken Word, poetry, dance, painting, to loving and praying and laughing and living. God is making room for when Art leaks out...
For when Art leaks out, His glory shows up.