An artist is not paid for his labor but for His vision.”-James Whistler
What does it mean to live as an artist? Doesn’t it mean that we look at things differently? Doesn’t it mean that we think differently? If our Creator chose to express us as His art (Ephesians 2:10) and we are painted, sculpted, written, acted, filmed, sung, danced or knitted in His image, then aren’t we also creators, artists?
I believe the answer is emphatically yes. Life is our palette and we choose how we express our art through the circumstances and obstacles that we face every day. The truth of Jesus is that we are to love, although that seems to be consistently buried beneath the rhetoric of self-edification. We are to be great lovers; lovers of God, lovers of other people, lovers of life (John 10:6-10). Now, to love, is an art. To look deeply into each person we meet and see the form of greatness that lies within requires an artist’s eye. To be the implement that helps to bring out that form requires an artist’s touch. To blend all of the themes of a life into symphony requires an artist’s ear. But we must make a decision to be committed to our art.
Love is the primary color of our lives, but not the only tool in our case. We also are to live joyfully, peacefully, patiently, kindly, purely, faithfully, gently and with self-discipline. These tools are gifts more than disciplines; gifts that are given to us as we watch the Artisan work on our lives and others; gifts gained as we sit at His feet and begin to understand His heart; gifts that come from learning His choreography and drumming His rhythms with reckless abandon. Now honestly, when is the last time you pursued your life as art?
Whether you are a disciple of Jesus or not, here is a mindset that will bring you more joy. Live artistically! The person who does not live with a creator’s heart get’s so caught up in the day-to-day. They miss the light of life in the fog of paychecks. They are blinded to the colors around them by hurt and anger and routine. They listen to so many voices that they are deaf to the music of family, friendship, flowers, sunsets, butterflies, birds, clouds, cotton candy, all the good things that come down from the Father of Lights (James 1:17). Worst of all, they miss the beautiful melody of the Divine as our Father, Savior and Guide sings out His great love for us.
Take some time this weekend to soak up the art of your life. Listen to the voices of your children in their myriad tones. Hold the hand of the love of your life and look deeply into their eyes, listening to the rhythm of your heart. Watch and listen to the birds in their springtime production. Sit by a creek and hear the bells of it’s passage, shock your feet with it’s cool water. Dig your fingers deep in the rich earth and feel it fall through your fingers. And listen, oh listen, for the canticle of the Eternal singing, “I love you, my child.”
Then when you have taken it all in and Monday comes on like a disease, remember the songs and images newly impressed upon your heart and use them to create art all around you.
Then you will bring beauty from ashes, dancing from sorrow.
Then you will change lives, maybe even your own.