Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Heart of an Artist

Its a fragile yet complex thing, the heart of an artist. I know because I was raised by one. My Dad, although he died when I was 11, was the ultimate thespian. He sang, he played a bizillion instruments, he acted, he did stand up, he oozed creativity. And because of that he was passionate, he was overly emotional, he was easily angered and hurt, but loved deeply. He was the life of the party and sometimes the death of it. He felt to the depths and the heights often at the same time. And so I have a heart that is drawn to the artist, the creative and the passionate.

Churches of christ were not havens for these kinds, I promise. My Dad was our "song leader." That meant he sat on the front pew, thumbed through the blue book and selected a few songs and lead them. But, short of that, there was no room in the inn for those who God gifted in this way. I saw it and noticed that he didn't really fit in, but what were the options?

Last night, and tons of times in the last 5 years I have been able to say, "this one is for you, Dad." Our Wednesday evening summer program began and we do Central Perk, which is a worship, experiential themed evening each week. While moving between stations, a lady from our congregation came to me, just sobbing. She is an artist. All she could say as we prayed was "thank you Jesus, for us being able to do this" over and over again. The heart of the artist was touched and she felt like she could be free and authentically herself. If nothing else significant happens during Central Perk this summer, it doesn't matter to me. One spiritually starved artist among us in this fellowship was able to sit at the banquet table and feast last night. I know God has more for us at Central Perk this summer because He always does, but I am filled from just that. That one was for you Dad.


Jim Martin said...

Arelene--a great post and a great tribute to your Dad!

Andrea Kelley said...

Arlene- Oh my goodness! This entry brought me to tears cuz I can totally relate. I'm so glad you are reaching out and opening an outlet for artists, it's not done enough. Just reading about it left me crying I can only imagine if I had been there. Luv ya!