Before Christmas Break, one of the staff members at my school contacted me about doing an art piece to go with this semester's chapel theme. I readily agreed, and over the next few months I put a lot of thought into this piece.
Like this semester's theme, my collage is titled "Looking Up". As Christians, we are called to face our lives toward God and reflect his love in our lives, so that's what I want to communicate with this piece. Following God is a community effort. When a community looks up to God and reflects the cross, the community is made beautiful.
I finished it at the end of February, and a few days ago I had the honor of having it displayed in chapel, and getting to say a few words about it. Of course, if you know me, you'll understand that I was extremely nervous. I'd spoken at Late Night Worship a few months back, and was featured in a short video in a chapel service last spring, but Tuesday morning chapel services are definitely a bigger deal than the student-run Wednesday night services! Because of my nerves, I actually only told a couple of people about it before-hand. In fact, I must now formally apologize to my parents because this blog post is probably the first they'll hear about it... I'm sorry!
So anyway, I got to share this collage. It was a really fun piece to make, but by Monday night I deeply regretted agreeing to speak in chapel. I just didn't want to do it! I have to give credit to Sarah Grace, the student hosting chapel that morning, who worked hard to encourage me and put me at ease. She and the rest of the crew were all so encouraging. The moment I stepped on the stage with Sarah Grace, I honestly felt fine.
The service was about speaking from the heart, and more importantly, allowing God to speak through our hearts. Thanks to nerves, I barely remember a word of what I said, and I apologize to this who were there if it was all a jumbled mess; I just don't talk good! But that's where the art comes in. I'm grateful to have this passion and skill through which I can speak eloquently, and a God who utilizes every form of communication, even fine arts.
Since Tuesday, I've had a number of people come up to me and say they loved my collage and appreciated my sharing it in chapel. Honestly, I'd be happy if I never do anything like that again! But I've been thinking a lot about taking risks, and how God uses our talents, and I've decided I'd rather be joyful than just happy. If joy means being bold by sharing my work and my faith in a public forum, then so be it, I guess. The arts have a special quality which inspires people to worship, and who am I to hide something that might help someone worship my God?
p.s. For those of you who don't know, The Onion is a satirical online publication. No, I am not being paid to advertise for it, though I have written some satire in the past and I'd love a chance to write for such a fine publication... Sorry, that was just a side note. My point is, including a link to it is just me performing the common courtesy of linking to a site when I mention it. But you probably should forget about this lame art blog and go read some quality journalism for a change, starting with The Onion. Again, not a paid endorsement. Okay, I'm done.