Living at the convergence of faith and art.

Adversity, Challenge & Fertile Ground

Ripe heads of wheat

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This morning I was ruminating about just how much God loves me.  I was thinking about how I love and appreciate Him.  It was a time of deeply personal praise which nearly brought me to tears.  Like everyone else in this sin-infested world, I have been through my share of the pooh-pile.  I’ve had my sufferings.  And while they’ve been less severe than those of many others, they’ve made their impact nonetheless.

Adversity & Inspiration

I got to thinking about how and why I so deeply appreciate God.  I was thinking about His presence through all I’ve endured so far.  And I became aware of the being borne out of those experiences.  Let me state it flatly; it is my view that we, God’s faith-driven creatives, would have absolutely no-thing to say or share with the world without our having to endure adversity and challenge.  In effect, it a gift.

It got me thinking that in this way, even Christ’s suffering is a living example for us of the unbelievable gifts we reap when we experience adversity, and yes, even real suffering.  In the same way that my love, admiration, and respect for God and His Son are heightened by His suffering, I see also that we, God’s creatives, incur a more substantial credibility in the eyes of those who engage our art.

Transformed & Empowered

For the faith-driven artist I see two gifts/blessings; 1) that we are transformed by the experience and have something meaningful to share. And 2) that our “audience” sees that we actually know something of which we “speak.”  So I was asking myself, What would I be without the pooh-pile of my past?  What level of compassion would I have, and to what depths would my faith go today?

Two years ago I came to an earth shattering revelationIf the one and only purpose of the tumultuous early life I have endured did nothing but help me to see my utter and desperate need for the love of God through Christ Jesus, it has all been worth it. Every beating I endured, every criticism, every rejection, every embarrassing, confusing, naive moment of my youth has all been seeds planted which are resulting in a fully surrendered faith in God.  Not only have those experiences transformed in light of the love and salvation of God through Christ, but it can all be harvested in my art today.  From the pooh of adversity comes a rich, meaning-filled art-practice.

Am I making sense?  The forge hammer of difficulty has not only driven out the dross, but has gifted me with something worth saying to others through my art.  I have something to share, not the least of which is that God does indeed walk with us right the way through our sufferings.  He knows suffering and so can be there with us and for us.

God’s Creative Voice

Likewise every painting, every novel, poem, or play, every sculpture, dance, or song are how we, God’s chosen creative voice, are able to communicate the relevance, reality, and presence of His love for us all.  And most of us are speaking from the reality of personal experience.  Personal experience carries with it an intimate knowledge of what it’s really like to suffer, which makes the meaning we share through our art all that more powerful.

So, while I have absolutely no desire to experience what I have, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  The pooh of life is being used as fertilizer in the garden of my life, and God and I are harvesting a bounty of rich meaning-filled creativity to share with the world.

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