The Work of Art
- June 01, 2016
- Gileah Taylor
My mother is an artist. She paints, acrylic on canvas, at least four days a week in a studio space she rents from the local art store. She completes about one painting a week. If she were to wait for ‘inspiration to strike’ before she picked up her paintbrush, then I doubt she would be so prolific. Not only that, but it is likely that her paintings wouldn’t be nearly as lovely. She has made a habit of making art, and it has served her – and anyone who beholds her paintings – well.
If the artist doesn’t treat his art as work then the art cannot be made (or at least made well.) The word ‘work’ is not a bad word. If we do not work then we do not learn. If we do not work then we cannot make money to pay rent and buy groceries.
The Creator’s hands made and fashioned us, and gave us hands to use in similar ways; we make and fashion so many things- skyscrapers and tiny houses, acres of wheat and backyard container gardens. We work and we sweat and wipe our foreheads with the bottom of a linen shirt that somebody worked to make. We paint and we write and we sing and we stand back and look and read and listen as we echo the original Artist.
These are holy moments, dear friends, holy moments great and small. How God’s hands made and fashioned and named all the pieces of a Universe. How my mother’s hands turn out painting after painting. How my father’s hands play the guitar. How, after years of gaining knowledge and working at his art, he is wise, his voice is convincing and his songs are profound.
We are ordinary people; it’s likely that you and I are not Van Gogh or Dostoyevsky or Bach. But we have been given gifts, and we must humbly remind ourselves: “I have been given this gift, and I must serve the art with purpose and with joy. I will welcome those rare moments of illumination, and by the grace of God, I will endeavor to work steadfastly through the many hours of shadows and doubt, because those hours will come. I choose to work, knowing that I am nothing, and that the Almighty Artist might choose to use my art to light up some hopelessly dim corner of the world as only He can.” To the kingdom and to the restoration and praise be to God.