A good friend of mine shared this brief article with me and it is worth a read. I have contemplating the words all week, and not just his words but the voice of the writer! There is such heart and longing that resonates with something I’ve struggled to articulate for YEARS.
Most people think I’m a great manager. I get lots of complements on my administrative “gifting” and have ended up in leadership positions since I was a child. I’m not saying I did everything right or was the best person, heavens no. Anyone in a spot light knows or learns how easy it is to make a mess instead of organize. This is just a fact about myself, and I even like it! But there is another side to me that I know has been missed. It feel it when I put out new ideas in church groups or business teams. I fight it when I’m told things like “that’s not how we do it” or when someone thinks I’m wrong and doesn’t say it, they just don’t support the new project. It cuts to my heart when I get the “look” from a
Pastor or authority figure that says, “what am I going to do with you you just won’t fit in”. It’s there but I’ve never been able to put it into words.
I’m an artist.
These quotes stood out to me-
“Artists honor the past without being bound by it. They propel us into the future by helping us see it. Even if we’re not ready for it yet.”
“Artists don’t give us what we want. They show us something we didn’t even know we needed.”
“Artists don’t debate what style of music (or teaching, preaching and lighting) is best. They give us new ways of doing it.”
Yes yes yes! These are the words! I can instantly give half a dozen stories where I these quotes articulate exactly what I was feeling and fighting with. They have stayed with me because I have never yet been able to say WHY it bothered me so much. Why, when I’d get some kind of honor for administration I’d want to scream, This Isn’t Me!!!! And why I feel hurt and misunderstood.
Am I alone? I don’t think so. I’m a teacher! I’ve met dozens of people, old and young, who have had their creativity ignored, crushed or buried and only need someone to come say “We want you! We want how you think. We think that idea is crazy but we’ll give it everything we’ve got because we love you!” What we’ll be difficult now is that so many beautiful artists have buried themselves, like me, and may not even know why they just aren’t content. (Don’t get all philosophical here, God saying we should be content in every season in life does NOT include the ones we wrongly force upon ourselves or the ones in which others silence us and keep us restrained. Missionaries don’t stop preaching in prison do they?)
I’m one of the fortunate few who also can be administrative and so I’ve managed to painstakingly carve out an almost me-shaped relief where I can still be in community with churches and ministries, but it’s so hard. And most do not try. Oh, how the church would grow, especially in this country, if we learned to create space for these crazy artistic people, and every day in this new world I’m learning the words we need to help teach the church how to do that. But this post is really about me. I’ve got to break free and live this God given part of who I am again or I will suffocate and abandon the church body completely. God put this in my hands today so I could change, the healing and rest that still needs to come I’m sure will be here shortly.
Shall we commemorate this revelation with a song?