Saturday, June 16, 2007

Willow Creek SCRiBBLeS

God scribbles on our hearts in ways we may not even notice. When we do pause to notice, we will see a masterpiece emerge from those scribbles… those many elements… those doodles of life we experience as joy, peace, pain, confusion, understanding and all the other feelings of the rainbow.
I just spent several days in Chicago at an arts conference with thousands … and thousands of other artists. There was much scribbling going on.

Hallelujah ~ What’s Right with the World” was an international gathering of artists in every texture, fragrance, color, and flavor that exists on GOD's palette.

To quote them directly (in part) from the 2008 event site (which is relevant to what just took place): “The Arts Conference 2008 brings together thousands of church staff and volunteers who, like you, are out there on the front lines of ministry week after week. This outstanding three-day experience draws participants from over 1,000 different churches—and is filled with opportunities to sharpen your vision and fill up your creative and spiritual “tanks.” Check out the '07 event to see more of what really goes on at The Arts Conference.”

It was massive, yet personal.
It was affirming, yet challenging.
It was a contradiction.

That was the point, they said, to challenge us to live in ‘the contradiction’.
...because... where would the world be without artists? Artists often 'contradict' reason...and from that we can sometimes find beauty and deeper understanding of the Truth that has been there before all time.
I am soberly reminded (ears open - eyes open alert) that this 'contradiction' is interesting and viable so long as we proceed in the Truth.
I have become aware of those who feel the Truth isn't enough anymore - and something 'new' needs added ... a "new truth" they say.
The Truth I know is complete. The joy and refreshment comes when I follow closely and discover His richness all over again.
There is nothing new under the sun ~ King Solomen indeed knew what he was saying.
In light of eternity - this is vanity of vanities - I take comfort in that. My place is secured. I am free.
I walked way outside of my comfort zone to even go.
In the midst of huge transitional struggles in my own life ... and walking in a place of imminent change made it ridiculous to go. Still... God, who is oh so creative in His planning, predestined this time and place in my life for me to go and be exactly where I needed to be regardless of my circumstance.
The event, for me, was about recapturing my place as an artist (something so hard to say) in the world and in the Church. No one had to know me there and yet, they ‘got me’ instantly. We didn’t have to speak, yet we were in communion. As artists we generally do not find that in our real worlds, let alone our churches.
As one who walks that crevice between right brain and left brain (being neither one nor the other more dominantly as so many are) I have yet another isolation point.

I’m a hemisphere tightrope walker.

When I lean left, my art relationships see their conservative antithesis. When I lean right, my intellectual relationships dismiss me as less than I am. We can change that ~ together. In our real worlds... In our churches.
Our different textures, fragrances, colors, flavors, sounds, and emotions are the very things that unite us. Our differences make us the same.
It was something beautiful.
There's no need to mess with the Truth to experience that.

(just listen - sing along if you want)

“I wanna start it over ~ I wanna start again
I want a new a new beginning ~ One without any end
I feel it inside ~ Calling out to me
It's a voice that whispers my name ~ It's a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head ~ Singing love will take us where
Something's beautiful
I've heard it in the silence ~ Seen it on a face
I've felt it in a long hour ~ Like a sweet embrace
I know this is true ~ It's calling out to me
It's a voice that whispers my name ~ It's a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head ~ Singing love will take us where
Something's beautiful
It's the child on her wedding day ~ It's the daddy that gives her away
Something beautiful
When we laugh so hard we cry ~ It's the love between you and I
Something beautiful”

NEWSBOYS 2007 “Something Beautiful” from GO
(please visit them on the juke box list to the left to hear the song on their site)
~joy in the journey,
psalm 103
pray for me
featured art - watercolor "HANDS OF AN ARTIST"

Time and distance do give us a sense of perspective and wisdom. We have now looked into many of the speakers we listened to at Willow. There were certain things that popped out like a bad note in a lovely a sneeze in the middle of a quiet prayer. Those pops of conflict that arose throughout the experience were generally soothed by so much aesthetic comfort that we stayed in our comfy paddle boat during the journey and enjoyed the scenic, lovely ride. Since then, however, we have discovered that those pops of conflict in our conscience ... those odd sneezes at inappropriate times, were moments of heresy being introduced. There we were in our conference provided paddle boat - floating along in what appeared as a nice clear river of love and understanding ... flowery fragrance in the air ... all so beautiful. In retrospect we see it was a river of pollution and the fragrance was like candles covering up a secret bathroom odor. I still 'enjoyed' the event as an experience with other artists - but the part that I longed for deepest (as all human souls do) was that spiritual enrichment that comes from gaining understanding from those who have gone ahead in the journey and have good news to report back. Instead, our spiritual radars were beeping warnings we were required to look into once we returned home. Those internal warning systems proved divine as we found so much spiritual error had been shared. God is God and I am not. Don't mess with Him and don't mess with what He says.


Melanie said...

kD... I love this blog entry and can't wait for more!

I too am a tightrope walker!!! Wow - I love that paragraph and your description!!!

Please keep processing and sharing... I'm hanging on every word.


Francesca said...

Oh the tightrope, yes I'm on it too, one side-effect is just as you describe it, another I have found is indecision and over-thinking things. Learning to just 'be' and follow the lead is kind of hard sometimes :)