"Mirror Of Ink"

I look into this mirror of ink and see a soul that has no beauty in itself, but is silvery-white in the light of

Your Grace that covers me and makes me new.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Am An Artist

I am learning to accept the fact that I am an artist.

No, I have never painted a piece that is hanging in a gallery. I have never written an award-winning song. I have never composed a well-known piece of music. I have never acted or sung in broadway theaters or concert halls. I have never written a best-seller.

But I feel deeply. I see beauty in simple things. I hear music when others don't. I am passionate about expression through the written word. I feel alive when I'm being creative. I thrive on stage. I become the instrument I play. The words I write are the expression of my soul. I AM an artist.

Being an artist is not something you choose. It is something you are destined to be. I did not choose to be an artist because I want people to know my name or see my works and applaud me. I have no desire to see my name in lights or on the front page of the paper. I would be happy to live my life in obscurity creating the things I love to create and doing the things I love to do without anyone knowing about it.

But I am learning something. God- the Master Artist- did not place his thumbprint of artistic creativity on my life for me to hide it away in my notebooks, journals and dreams. God is not shy in expressing the beauty of his creativity. He boldly proclaims his artistic viewpoint with every mountaintop, crescendo, color, and shooting star. I am an extension of that creativity. We all are. We are his masterpiece. A thread in the beautiful tapestry of the history he is creating. And as an artist, God has given me a gift. A voice. A passion.

I am not saying that artists are superior to those who are not, for I think that in some way, we are all artists. An artist is simply someone who expresses themselves through a medium. And we all do that, in one way or another. But some people, those of us with the "artistic temperament" are just...different. To be perfectly honest, being an artist can be supremely difficult. We struggle. We question ourselves and our ability. We compare our talents to those more talented or trained and beat ourselves up about it. We fight with pride, jealousy and envy. Artists tend to be very tortured people.

However, with each passing day, I realize that my true calling as an artist is not to do great things. It is not to be the best singer, dancer, writer, actor, painter, chef, designer, composer or musician. It is not to win awards and become famous.

My calling as an artist is to make the Master Artist famous.

I'll never be so important in a movie that my name will be on screen before it even starts. You know those names at the end of the credits on a movie? The ones who you don't really know what they do, but they must do something because their name is mentioned in little tiny script right before they turn the lights on in the theater? That is me. And God- He is the star. My role is important enough to be mentioned at the end. His name comes at the BEGINNING of the movie. In big, bold print.

I am learning not to diminish the value of the gifts God has given me. If He gives me a song, I am learning how to sing it. If He gives me a poem, I am learning how to write it. If He gives me a dance or a drama, I'm learning how to perform it. Not because I want to be seen. But because I want HIM to be seen. And if I want Him to be seen, I must do what I've been created to do.

Perhaps you feel as I do. You've been given a gift. An ability. A talent. But you've struggled to know how, when, and where to use it. Well, I'll share with you something that the Master Artist told me when I was arguing with Him about a song I had written. He told me:

"I wouldn't give you those gifts if I didn't want you to use them."

Use them. Use them often. Use them to the best of your ability. Don't question. Don't worry. Don't rationalize. Just use them. Because when you do, God is pleased. It thrills Him to see His Creation creating! And it thrills me to know that I can bring pleasure to God through simply being who He created me to be and doing what I love to do.

We are artists. It is our God-ordained destiny. We may never be famous for our masterpieces. But HE can be made famous by us- His greatest masterpiece.


Nathan said...

That's really good Heather! It made me really think. I want to use the talents and gifts that God has given me for HIS glory and I want HIM to be seen and not me. That's something I think I struggle with is always doing a self check to make sure that I'm up doing what I'm doing for HIM and not for me.

Janice said...

I can really relate to this one. Several years ago when I had surgery to replace a ruptured disc in my neck. After the surgery I completely lost my voice due to a paralyzed vocal chord. I can remember standing on the piano bench at church to sing when I was 4-5 years old. I have sang about as long as I can remember and knew it was always a talent God blessed me with so I was devastated. The surgeon didn't know the cause and couldn't say whether my voice would or wouldn't return. I promised God that if He would restore my voice that I would always use it to glorify Him through song. I have done my best to keep my promise although sometimes it has been hard because of this earthly flesh. God has been so faithful to me the past few months and I can't do anything but make sure that I'm singing to glorify Him and give Him praise for what He has done in my life.

Anonymous said...

This is profound and very well written. You are certainly talented..of course, we in the family have known that from the beginning. I'm so happy that you have learned to exalt the Lord with your talents and give Him all the glory for what He can do through you.

Aunt Martha