Monday, August 22, 2005

Artistic Block and Bible Study

We were discussing whether to retrieve our "artwork" from the HYPE exhibition or leave them to charity (but couldn't conceive what anyone would want with a 40" x 60" laminate other than perhaps to cover a peeling PVC table top).

In the midst of the discussion, she confessed,"When I realised who God was and how puny and stupidly rebellious I was in relation to him, I believed that Christ's death on the cross would save me from God's wrath and was given the gift of life. At the same time, I lost my artistic gifts."

She explained that she found that she could no longer write poetry nor paint because the inspiration she drew from the well of deep angst and dark depression and the helplessness she felt not being in control of her life, the spring of unstable emotional highs and lows that poured out easily and unremittingly onto paper had suddenly dried up in the clear sweet light of being in a contented relationship with God. For the first time in her life, she was actually stable and satisfied.

"Well, you could write about other things," said I hopefully (not quite sure of the relationship between inspiration and art),"the things that you value most now: our great and gracious God, your restored relationship with him, your fresh perspective of the world, your contentment and satisfaction with everything. You could use your gifts to generously serve the body of Christ..."

"Nah," she replied,"perhaps it's not that I've lost my artistic gifts but that I'm no longer interested in art. I used it for soul-searching, for self-fulfilment, for adulation. But I now find my meaning and value solidly in Christ. In my pagan days I'd arrogantly thought that I had an important message to tell the world, an especially insightful interpretation of life. But of course all interpretations have already been thought of and all stories have already been told. And of course, whining and whinging "artistically" is far more bearable than irritating old whining and whinging."

"But you do have an important message to tell the world: the gospel!"

"Exactly! But poetry and painting are too vague and fluffy to convey the message. And too much time and energy would be wasted trying to put across the message obtusely in poetry or painting which would be more efficiently and clearly conveyed by plain prose...which is why I love Bible study so much and reading the Bible with people! Straight and direct and hits you between the eyes and in the heart!"

She beamed.

Amen, dear sister. Amen.

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