So What’s The Big Deal?

Last week we tackled what we are doing by God’s grace at FortyOne20 Ministries. This week, we take a look at why…

Why the Artist?

Artists are unique people. For this reason, you cannot distinguish an artist by what he or she is wearing (as you could, say, a business person), nor that individual’s skin, eye, or hair color (as you could a specific race or heritage). You cannot hear it in his or her voice when talking, nor does it immediately come across in that individual’s personality. 

You see, artists are not surface people. Artists are deep thinkers and feelers. They inneract with their own thoughts and feelings about themselves and interact with their thoughts and feelings about the world around them. They are searching for meaning, worth and fulfillment. Artists are interpreters of deeper things, shapers of the intangible.

 Why the Art?

The expression of the artist’s inner/interaction and search produces the creative product our society calls art.  Art can manifest itself in a variety of forms – visual, musical, performance, and written to name a few.  Art is universal in that it is not unique to a particular culture, and yet an artist’s cultural background will play a role both in what and how he or she creates. As such, art can be used with anyone, anywhere. Being an expression of both tangible and intangible, art has the power to touch and stir the soul of an observer.

Why the Art-Observer?

Art-Observers are drawn to art because, like artists, they seek to satisfy their basic human need for meaning, worth, and fulfillment.  The desire to understand what it “all” means and to find our individual places within that larger context drives much of the art interpretation and theory in our society.  Attraction to art also stems from our human desire to sense things that can be called “good” or “beautiful.”

 Why Should All Three Be Taken On Together?

On either side of this broad spectrum we call art are lost and searching souls. God longs to use art and meaningful conversations about art and meaningful dialogue about between artists and art-observers to draw people to Himself. The implications of this are stunning!

 Why Meaning, Worth and Fulfillment?

Believers need to understand that this search for meaning, worth and fulfillment by artists and art-observers is God-orchestrated. Solomon says, “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in His time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:10-11).  Human beings are designed by God to yearn for and have close, personal fellowship with Him. (It’s sort of His Artist’s Mark on us). God is the Only One who can fill that yearning, though we often seek to fill it with human relationships, careers, alcohol and narcotics. These temporal idols fall horribly short of the hollow in the human heart intended to be filled by the Holy God of the universe.

In both its creation and observation, art can become a similar idol. Frustrated by their lack of satisfaction, artists can retreat further into their feelings and thoughts for inspiration, coming up emptier every time.  Art-Observers can use art as a form of escapism from discontented realities. In either case, art cannot and never was intended by God to take His place in the human heart. Used as a substitute for God, art will be less effective than a drop of water in a pitcher.

On the other hand, creation and observation of art within the context of glorifying God will be satisfying as artists and art-observers find meaning, worth, and fulfillment in Him.  Artists who derive their satisfaction from God will learn to sense creation the way He senses it and their art will reflect God’s heart. Art-Observers contented by God will be able to view art and artists the way He views them.

Imagine that. Imagine believing artists and art-observers rising up and initiating meaningful dialogue about art that points directly to God and His plan for the human race. Imagine unbelieving artists and art-observers finding the God of the universe who “fills every thing in every way” (Ephesians 1:23).

 Outreach taking place through art.

 You can stop imagining.

 It’s happening now.

***

Lydia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of North Texas. What she is really passionate about, however, is reaching artists with the good news of Jesus.

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