“None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when — like the artists of every age — captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.” Letter of John Paul II to Artists
Isn’t there something thrilling in the idea that God, through some mysterious inspiration, taps our shoulders and asks us to birth beauty? Artists are graced especially with a sense that we are given something from nothing. We take an idea only just now occurring to us and bring it into this dimension of reality. When we have taken our inspiration seriously enough, we sense the importance of it or the goodness within it even in its embryonic stages. Though our limited talents may always disappoint us, there is a sense that this idea, this vision was given as a gift — if even a more humble one than others receive. Yet is any gift small if it is meant especially for us?
When we keep our eyes on the gift before us, we feel that expansive breath and excited heartbeat. It transports us to the heavens — if only for moments of time. I don’t know if everyone is gifted with such moments or if it is really only given to artists. I do know that we have a choice to accept the grace or not.
For twenty years I ran from God’s call on my life like Jonah, and I too was swallowed by a whale. I had caused many storms and needed to be thrown overboard. I turned back to God and the creative call only after everything else that seemed more practical had failed.
But it doesn’t matter anymore. Saying yes to the art that God asks us to make puts you in a special mood — one that makes life very simple even when it’s difficult. Listen and obey.
Have you ever felt called to do something? Did you run from it or embrace it instantly? I’d love to know in the comments!
6 responses to “A Letter to Artists”
Hi Adrienne. Nice to read you.
“Called”? No. Not really. I did create the first and only market Research Association here when everyone told me it was impossible. Well it was possible and still goes on. Was I called? I don’t think so. 🙂 But was it good? Yes. To all participants.
I will think about it. Happy new year.
It’s always good to know there are people who bravely go forth despite the naysayers. 🙂 You know it’s a call when you get more and more miserable the longer you stay away from it.
I suppose people who embrace the inspiration to do something right off wouldn’t necessarily need the nudging of a “call.” something to think about.
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Naysayers abound. (un)fortunately. (Fortunately because it makes it more fun to achieve something)
I do have a call. have had for ten years. I discovered variables that seem to be critical for development and growth. I did some statistical modeling and it is certain. But I’ve dropped it because I sort of convinced myself nobody would listen…
Now that I know a bit more about blogging, maybe I can give more diffusion to this work? And maybe it will help? Really really don’t know…
Another thing to think about…
Take care Adrienne. Lovely to hear from you. 🙂
God is creative. We are made in God’s image. So when we pursue our creative side, we are taping into that part of ourselves that reflects what God meant for us to be all along.
Yes, even how man and woman come together to create a third being — pretty amazing. Even the animals are constantly creating (maybe not with the same sense of what they are doing but who really knows?)
I wonder if we are tapping into ourselves or something far more mysterious.
This is beautiful. Not sure I have answers to your questions…still trying to unravel it all myself. 🙂