Make art and give it away. Un-numb a culture.
Two weeks ago, invited to a friend’s home to hear a free concert, I sardined myself into a car with friends, laughing, relaxing into myself a little, expectations left with the babysitter of our 3 sons. It’s not exactly Calgon taking me away, but it’s a break, and really, I need a break. How often I imagine myself in some sort of rest on a deserted island away from this computer, or at a quiet, candle-lit table with a four course meal, or on the couch watching Fresh Prince.
Seth’s work schedule is now dark to dark. We join in evening grief for rest. Why is it we’re working like this? How did my blog become a job? Where is our art, his guitar playing, my storytelling? These things float about the front of our minds on our way to the concert, we who consider ourselves good at having visions, because that’s what artists do. They envision and consider revision. They have a way of seeing and then they cast it onto canvas or with the vibrating string.
In that soul hunt for rest, I wonder what is it that sparks in me when people like Aaron Ivey throw their voices up high and pull it along with poetry about justice and mercy and love? At this House Concert, Aaron Ivey and his band alternated between singing and storytelling about their experiences with extreme poverty, adoption, and God’s great love. It was gorgeous. It was rest, God-at-the-heart rest. This is not to say that it wasn’t work for the band, their practiced, well-written songs, their pleas for our pocket change to save a human’s life. This is not to say that the missionary isn’t the hardest worker of all, uncultured and ill-lingualled on unknown soil.
But at the heart of God – at His very heart – is the poor, the orphan. At His very heart is my rest, there where I meet with Him in worked-out love.
Not there for fame or for money, but rather for Compassion, for Haiti, for Adoption, Aaron and his friends, we all, glowed in God fame. We felt ourselves relax into the real us, the us in a covenant of justice. When our art is purposed for eternity, it becomes the worth while. It feeds people. It feeds us.
It makes me want to ask it again: what is your art? You, muffin maker, are you making that dough feed the poor, somehow? What’s your aim?
Look at Bush’s (the bass player’s) photography, especially from Ethiopia. Look at Aaron’s wife, blogging away about adoption, and currently, their daughter, Story. Yes, that’s her beautiful name – like Witness, like Testimony. Look at the Original Artist in them all.
We’re waiting for a lot of things. I think one is to start the process to bring home our Ethiopian daughter, because we love her already, know He’ll be knitting her soon. Afraid of the work to come with so many children and afraid of being stuck at the paperwork equivalent of 6 centimeters, I am reminded by such art, where my help comes from and how I, too, have been grafted in. Check out this brother and the way he and his friends encourage. Think about what it is you plan to do with this “one wild and precious life.”
It has a high jam factor and singability, doesn’t it?