Palatable palette

I don't know a thing about painting. And I couldn't write poetry to save my life - unless "Roses are Red" variations count. In my world, dance looks like shifting from foot to foot and clapping, a thing altogether unfit for The Nutcracker. And photography? Well, I don't know what I'm doing but I have provided curiosities on occasion. Check out this disappearing car (Note where the tail lights end on the left. See? No car, but its shadow remains) and also this disappearing student.

So I'm not an artist. Yet I'm an artist. Ask me to design a student retreat or college wilderness trip and I can paint all day. I can dance through brainstorming sessions with energy and grace, and marvel at the endlessness of ideas. My mind moves freely then, playing off of others' thoughts, getting inspired by quotes and images and feelings, writing pages of poetry in the form of group activities and trip themes. "When I brainstorm, I feel God's pleasure," Eric Liddell might have said in my shoes.

Your digital SLR or brush or Adobe Illustrator is my national forest. The challenge is knowing how to use these mediums. Just because I can think doesn't mean I can wield wisdom. Just because I can lead a group from point A to point B, or you can persuade a product off the shelf, doesn't mean we've succeeded.

What if we were as talented in discernment as we are in idea-generation; in composition as in execution; in wisdom as in knowledge? We'd make fewer mistakes and have fewer regrets. My trip participants would be healthier. Your customers would be better consumers.

I think we'd all be better, truer, artists.

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold."
- Proverbs 3:13-14


David Rupert May 1, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

The gift of persuasion is one that must be handled with much fear and trembling.

As easily as we can lead, we can mislead.

God help us!

Sam Van Eman May 1, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

Yes, persuasion in all areas - from advertising to preaching sermons.

God help us, indeed, David.

Michele Corbett May 3, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

Sam, this is beautifully stated. I love the comparison of what you do to that of an artist. It's so easy to elevate art to something reflecting the beauty of God, but your work does the same and you have responsibilities connected to that power. Love it. Thanks!

Sam Van Eman May 3, 2009 at 9:50 PM  

You're welcome, Michele.

I was inspired by attending a retreat for artists last week. At first I felt somewhat out of place - rubbing shoulders with remarkably creative talent - but it made me ask, "Well, how can I be an artist, too?"

So, if you liked the post, it came from wanting to fit in. :)

Alison May 6, 2009 at 3:57 PM  

You say you are not a poet, but this post is beautiful prose. Photography, painting, poetry, and even graphic design are only a few possible tools for reflecting God's creativity. No matter what we use to create with, the act of creating has great power. We must be aware of this power, and use it to point others to the all powerful, our amazing God.

Sam Van Eman May 7, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

Alison, thanks for the good words of encouragement!

  © Free Blogger Templates Blogger Theme II by 2008

Back to TOP