Words of Hope: Essential Art

Last year we were in NYC to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. We were with some friends who are artists. For me, art is truly the only way I can process tragedies. The gratuitous nature of the news floods me and overwhelms me with despair. Certain stories cut to my quick more than others. This recent senseless loss of a teacher running in Memphis, a mom with young children, and a woman of prayer and joy disrupts and disquiets me. My Mom tells me she lived in easier times. I think tragedies were happening just as frequently, but we didn’t have daily access to all the sorrow happening worldwide. Last year, as we sat together in the art exhibit surrounded by images painted with crushed precious elements arranged on canvas, sometimes 80 layers thick, I could feel a buoyancy and hope in the center of all the pain. I felt that God was present in this art, healing the world. I feel this looking at the Sistine chapel, listening to Bach’s Passion chorale, or seeing Rodin’s hand of God. There is no answer to wanton violence, hatred, despair, and grief other than love. Art is at the center of love- the most profound and most meaningful response we can make as humans. Van Gogh said it best, “the greatest work of art is to love someone.” In this time of crippling world atrocities coming to us at lightning speed day and night, I stop and remember to put down my phone. I recite a poem Dad and I memorized or a passage of scripture, or I look out the window at the world’s greatest Artist who created the trees, the sky, and the moon. I work to love my family and those around me. In these small choices of essential art, I find healing.

Art by: Mako

“The heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day, they bring forth praise, night after night they display knowledge.” – Psalm 19:1-2