In this time of advent, of waiting and anticipation for an amazing creation, I see in the world of writers and artists both waiting and creating. We wait for the time, for the words, for the image, for the brushstroke of our creation. Our creating is a powerful act--bringing us closer to God, to ourselves, to the action--the coming of Jesus Christ as a baby--we are waiting for. We are given a direct path to reflecting God's beauty and praising His most prefect creation.
In an "On Faith" column in the Washington Post, artist and teacher Lauren Rader writes, "Sometimes, when I'm painting, I notice that I am in a deep spiritual place. The movement of my strokes are in rhythm with the piece, my body is moving with the painting. My psyche is fully, but quietly engaged. It seems my soul itself has entered a state of bliss. It feels to me like praying. . . . in working with prayer in art, we are freed from what others think, and left with our own deep personal reflection. . . . Art and prayer are entwined, exclusive of any kind of God, but I find it deep and satisfying. . . .When we make art, we become the art we are making--it's kind of a circle--we work on the art and the art works on us."
She expresses so well the collision of ourselves, God, and art. Creating art is spiritual and brings us closer to God--a "higher plane"--but it is also challenging and delayed and destroyed by our brokenness. Perhaps prayer can help lift us.
This advent season, as we are waiting for Christmas and perhaps for our own creation, I want to pray for all artists. I love these prayers for artists:
From The Book of Common Prayer
17. For Church Musicians and Artists
O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in
heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through
art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on
earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty,
and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for
evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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