A few weeks ago, I was in Omaha, Nebraska for a series of business meetings. Let’s just say that eight hours of business meetings is not the most fun thing in the world. After a long day, I decided to walk to the local art museum. Many people know that I love to get outdoors to hike, camp, and backpack. It is refreshing. I also find art so refreshing, reflective, and good for my soul. On this evening in Omaha, though I walked into the museum tense from hours of business meetings, I walked out peaceful and contemplative. I spent two hours walking around, looking at art, reflecting on the beauty and the meaning, and opening up my imagination. I left the art museum that evening feeling so refreshed and so filled up. Which was good because I had more business meetings the next day!
Dave and John Ferguson, in their church leadership book Exponential, write about the importance of art and artists. Churches need strong leaders and healthy systems, but they also need to empower the artists. Artists catalyze communities, help a church take risks, and they give a different perspective on the most important aspects of life. These are all important parts of life and a community of faith. Art helps people reflect, ask important questions, and be pointed to the Creator.
When I look at the picture above, titled “Spring” by John Henry Twachtman and painted in the 1890s, I feel a warm day with the wind blowing. It makes me want to walk down towards the cabin, stopping to look at the logs along the way. It reminds me of days in the mountains. Reflecting on this picture helps me to slow down, take in life, and feel the Spirit of God moving. What do you feel when you see the picture above?
So here’s to all of our artists, even those who aren’t professionals. Here’s to all who take the risk to create. Art is so important to our souls.