Every child is an artist. I know because my home, office, car, garage and everywhere I dwell is adorned with pictures from my kids. There is not a minute that they are not creating something. Whether it is a mud pie or a family portrait, there is always a constant flow of “Daddy, I made this for you!”
Somewhere along the road of human development (usually around middleschool) we stop creating. We make a shift to acquiring knowledge and information. The more we obtain, the better we have developed becomes the general operating way. The child within us is subdued and stifled like a loud child on a Sunday morning. We believe the lie that art is about making something beautiful rather then art being the attempt to bring meaning to life. Art becomes something we leave to the pros who have found a way to make money from their “art”. Along the way we lose a major part of our heart and understanding of who we are and who God is. Not to mention we lose meaning. Our life becomes a string of facts and theories that force us into a reality of doing rather then being. We add things to our to-do list and check things off our bucket list until we reach a waypoint in the journey and wonder…”is that it?”
Art always means something. Not all art is beautiful, as some art offends, but the process of the art always is beautiful. Even if we experience something that resounds in those black parts of our soul, at least it gives name to that which we so often try and keep quiet. When it is given voice the darkness gives way to life, because death is always subordinate to life, and that is beautiful.
Thank God that there are those who have not succumb to the pressure of being “normal” and been seduced by the temptress of capitalism. The poet, the songwright, the painter, storyteller and countless other individuals who attempt to help detangle our minds and our hearts give us the best glimpse of God and what His kingdom is.
More then ever, we, as well as the kids we relate to, need places to express the inexpressible, to fathom the unfathomable, and to find peace in the midst of chaos. That is what will set the captive free and brings life into the darkness.
So, paint your picture, build your machine, take your picture, tell the great story, however you tell it. The artist in us still lives, because although we are grown, we are still just a child.