Art is Hopeful

Arts and TheologyOne of the books I’m currently reading is Makoto Fujimura’s Refractions, a collection of essays reflecting on faith, art and culture. It works as a devotional book with its starting places and illustrations in art. I love it so far. In chapter 8, he writes this:

Art is an inherently hopeful act, an act that echoes the creativity of the Creator…[art] is done in hope; the creator reaches out in hope to call the world into that creation.”

Makoto Fujimura - Refractions

Makoto Fujimura – Refractions

The very fact that we imagine something that is not created yet, we reach out to it, to see it become manifest is an act of hope. We don’t know for sure if the thing in our brains will become the thing in reality, but we hope it will. When writing a song, I normally have a specific feel that I can’t quite put to words and I’m straining to work it out in reality- to see the intangible become tangible (at least in some way).

And this creating is not limited to art. We are all little creators, an attribute given by The Creator. With our lives we can create beauty and life (such as being a sacrificial husband or a loving sibling) or we can create chaos and death (such as being an abusive spouse or an arrogant Christian). We all create, sometimes for life, sometimes for death. We are a mix of artist and terrorist.

The Christian’s job is to be creating beauty in this world, seeking God’s will to be reflected here on earth as it is in heaven.

We have a mandate to become artists, using the wreckage of broken beauty in this world. We each have a different brush, a different voice, a different movement, but and we are all united in the hope we have to create. A hope for our own creations, and a hope in the One who made creation.