We are all artists because our lives, tempered and polished over time, are leading us to a rich and beautiful understanding of the Incarnation, of God’s self-portrait in Jesus and in us. It is because of this sacramental vision that our artistic souls are forever picking up clues about our Creator God’s beauty hidden in the ordinariness of things.
Sure, poets, painters, musicians, dancers delight us. But they are but the mid-wives that point us to the Divine. So, let us part ways from our narrow understanding of what it is to be an artist. Because the truth is that we are all born in the image and likeness of God, so we are creative in our depths. We read in Ephesians 3: “We are God’s work of art created in Jesus Christ.” And Timothy 1 reminds us not to forget our giftedness.
Someone once defined an artist as “one who wants to leave a gift behind”. What is implied in that definition of an artist? Well, firstly, it implies that we are in touch with our immortality, that we will be leaving sometime. So why not leave a gift behind: something good, a blessing, maybe a deep part of ourselves, something that brings others joy, delight, maybe a big thank you for having lived. If we want to leave something good, we are all artists. Let me say it again, we are all artists. We are co-creators with the Holy Spirit. And to whom are we giving our gift? We are giving our gift to God, the ultimate Creator of life.
I think that it was near the end of his life that Navajo, the painter said and I quote: I am sick and tired of white people telling me that they were not artists. “If you can talk, you are an artist”, he would say. Translating your feelings and experiences into language is art. So get over it. We are all artists, the handiwork of the Divine Artist.”
B. O’ S.