Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Artists are an insecure bunch, let me tell you. Something about that creative temperament that not only longs to create something beautiful and worthwhile....but also to be praised in doing it.

And that can be a bit of a quandry for us Christian artists. We know that what we are doing is for the Lord. We are well aware that we could do none of it except through His power and grace. Yet there is an undeniable urge for feedback, to actually hear that what you are doing is beautiful and worthwhile. That the beauty you try to thrust into the world is seen...and appreciated.

While it could easily dissolve into a pride thing, it is not necessarily pride that is always at work.

At least in part, it's a desperate desire to know that I really am doing what He's called me to do, and that I'm doing it well. I have a first-born perfectionism complex to wrestle with as well, but with writing, I've decided that I'm never going to reach perfection, but I still have a strong desire to do all that I do excellently. Artists work in such a subjective medium. The very work they produce that results in high praise can also produce scathing reviews. And boy are these hard on an artist. Unfortunately, the bad words seem to find us more easily than the good words. Which is why we occasionally go looking for the good ones. We need that hope to anchor us in God's soil and reaffirm to us that we are doing precisely what we are supposed to be doing no matter what anyone else says.

Yet we're still listening to what others say. I know it seems like a contradiction, but it's not - we must carefully choose who we listen to and remember to listen to God above all else. I'm only going to be responsible for the things that God has placed in me, not the reams of advice that can often come. I'm only responsible for recording the story I am supposed to tell.

But just as a mother can glow when she is told her child is a "gem", an artist will glow when she is told her work is indeed beautiful. God created my child - not me, but it still fills me with joy to hear that she is a joy to others. The same goes for the stories. I know that I did not create alone but was simply a vessel for the One True Creator. But still it fills me with joy to hear that the work is a blessing and touches others.

And I don't think there's anything wrong with that.