The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.Jonathan Larson, Rent
Something I usually do in my blogs is reference other works, songs, shows, books, and literally anything that is not mine. Now, I’m sure you can guess that I am always reading, watching, listening(usually on my Bluetooth hearing aids, oh yeah they do that), or putting myself into something. I think I do this so that I can dissect, or understand other world views and stories.
I mean, I am a storyteller, or I try to be, and I can only be a more honest storyteller if I expose myself to new art. To new experiences. Yeah, sometimes these new things are uncomfortable or off putting or even can just be plain awful, but I think they are just as equally important. Because, they are made by people, by someone in need of expression or someone to listen.
Take the quote at the top for example, it is from the musical Rent by Jonathan Larson, many of you would think the show has some distaste to it and you would not want to take part in watching or being a part of it. But, it comes from a truthful place of the writer and who am I to say that what he felt was wrong? I also just really like the quote as it is.
Now, I am not saying that art is excusable or that we need to celebrate the rawness or go absolutely nuts for uncomfortable stories. If you are getting that, then take a moment to breath…okay, got your breath? Good.
I believe it is important for us to share in these stories because they are being shared by brothers and sisters, by God’s children. To listen to these stories is to listen to the vulnerability of others, and if you know me, you know how important that is to me.
Now, if you do not remember I had the honor of being in Wade Byington’s film, The Brotherhood. I mention this film because out of many things I have done onstage, or I guess film, this has been one of the darker pieces I have had the opportunity of being a part of. But in bringing this story to life I was able to understand why people would be pushed or even willing to do certain things just to be a part of a community.
If you have not watched it, I recommend it with a warning of some mature themes. It has some truly incredible writing and cinematography (it’s also back when I had a full head of hair). I have always enjoyed stories and doing this one gave me some real experience in the importance of telling stories that are rooted in truth.
Of course with every good thing there is always someone who will perverse the original notion. In this case, someone would produce something dark just because it is dark for no particular reason.
Anyway, I say all this to say that many of my ‘revelations’ this semester I guess you would say has been because of the works I have seen from other artists in which it has inspired me to share my own truths on things that I create.
My learning curve for this week is to expose yourself to something new, something challenging. You do not have to stick it out for the long run, but just long enough to see the world view of someone else. In this way we make ourselves more empathetic and caring individuals. Because of this it leads us to create our own art and ideas.
Beltway, the ministry I have been working with this year, released a single recently and I think it is a perfect example of creating. Albeit, it is a cover of a Jesus Culture song, it is still incredible. I also just really love this song as it truly captures God’s spirit.
Take the challenge this week, listen in on what God wants you to lean into, expose yourself to something uncomfortable or new. You know your limits. Maybe join a book club, or a movie club, or something. As long as you can listen to the stories of others, I think we can always learn how to love just a little bit more.
Notes: I leave for Slovenia in just 8 days!!! Please be praying for preparation and my heart as I prepare to leave soon. Also! My sister graduates soon and that means I am getting old and that is weird. Pray for my sister as she starts getting ready for a new and exciting chapter. And so she gets ready to take her journey onward.