The Sanctity of Art

I have four great loves in life: my Savior, my husband, my family, and art.

My Savior is the source of life, my All in All, the very reason why I live. My husband is the greatest gift I’ve been given- apart from Jesus. My best friend and constant supporter, I love him more than words can say. And my family are my people– the ones who truly get me and love me just the same.

But as for the fourth love on my list, for years I denied its presence- or at least felt guilty about it. Older Christians I respected encouraged me to lay every passion on the altar of Christian service, to deny my own desires and take up the vow of a missionary- living in some far off jungle. They told me that if there were lost people somewhere, I was called to go; it didn’t matter what my heart felt. My heart was not to be considered.

While I now understand their good intent, the damage they caused was swift and deep. I am not putting blame on these well-meaning leaders. I know their hearts were in the right place- and I am ultimately responsible for knowing God’s will myself. But as a young Christian, earnestly desiring to do the will of God, damage was done.

I spent the next ten years of my life trapped between confusion and pain. I knew what I loved- art- but was told this love was incompatible with my call to be a Christian. I knew what I wanted to do- write and champion the arts- but was never encouraged that this longing and gifting could be God’s very purpose for me.

Churches will spend hours and hours extolling the virtue of missions. But will they even give 10 minutes discussing the holiness of art? To every Christian artist, this lack of discussion, this lack of appreciation seems to be shouting “Isn’t art a pagan thing, filling big city museums and corrupting minds? Filled with the sensual, stirring up passions, opening up our souls, how can any good thing come from art?”

Not all art is good. I acknowledge this sincerely. But art can be holy. I affirm this ardently.

Art can reach through hardened hearts and darkened minds- like a single shaft of light escaping into a darkened room. Words, music, paintings, sculptures, dance, art, touch a place where sermons and religious catechism never reach. Art touches the human soul. This soul place is the very bridge between our earthy bodies and supernatural spirits. How can we neglect this heavenly portal? How can we forget this passageway?

Obviously, the soul can quickly become murky and trapped in humanism. But let us redeem this sacred place! Let us not toss away the babe with the bath water. Let us fight for this sacred battleground.

Art can be a weapon in the eternal war. A mighty, irrepressible, powerful weapon. Pushing back the lies of darkness and declaring the holiness of God. But for these spiritual weapons to be wielded, they must first be acknowledged and extolled.

Let us not forget the first human to be filled with the Spirit of God: Bezalel. Bezalel was an artist and craftsman, working with gold, silver, bronze, jewels, and wood (Exodus 31). God called him and inspired him to do this artistic work for the building of the tabernacle. A holy purpose indeed.

God has called many of us to be holy artists, too. Be reassured today that if you are committed to Christ and yet still find art filling your heart, God probably put it there for a reason. The world needs your art. This spiritual battle needs your thrust. Feel your call is not “sacred” enough? Tosh!

Never forget the sanctity of art.

Destiny Today

We love the idea of destiny. The idea that God has crafted a call just for us. An exciting, fulfilling adventure- written in eternity before time began.

As modern believers in this entrepreneurial age, we are conditioned to be ever looking for the next thing. The “this is where I am but this is where I am headed” syndrome. And while I am a huge proponent of goals and passion and pursuing purpose, I think we sometimes miss our destiny today.

We might not know what we are called to in 5, 10, or 50 years. But if we have a job we can know what we are called to right now:

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.” (New Living Translation, Ephesians 6:5-8)

Deep respect.
Sincere service.
Serve as Christ.
Integrity (being the same when they see you and when they don’t).
Doing good.

Doing this as an accountant, nurse, teacher, mechanic, parent, etc. might not be as exciting as going to Africa to save the children. And it might not be as personally fulfilling as pursuing our passion. But it is what we are called to today.

Don’t miss today’s destiny in tomorrow’s dream.


There’s something about summer.

In the midst of sweltering heat and ACs, longer days and the search for fun, He always finds me. The constancy is funny. From the time I was a tween to now in my twenties, He always comes.

I’m not sure why it happens in the summer. When I was in school, summer was the time for youth conferences. Now that I’m years past school, summer is the time for adventure and a break from the ordinary. Maybe it’s not summer so much but rather that break from the ordinary, that letting go of routine so that He finally has my attention.

Laying upon my bed, the cool night blowing through my window, His words blow upon my heart again:

“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness (abundance), and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. 

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.” (New King James Version, Psalm 63:1-8)

The message I get loud and clear? Never let your youthful zeal die. Always love the Lord as passionately as you did that summer, dancing for hours in the mountains at summer camp. Your love will grow and mature, as it should. But always remember when He was all you wanted, when your heart burst for Him, when you stayed up all night talking about Him, when you spent all day worshipping Him. Always remember so that it’s always true:

“O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works!” (New King James Version, Psalm 71:17)



As a twenty-something, the last ten years have been filled with a great pressure to figure out where I’m going in life. Confusion, uncertainty, and indecision have been constant companions. Or rather constant tormentors.

I’m sure you can all relate. There’s a feeling deep inside that assures you, persuades you that you are meant to accomplish something great. While road tripping through miles and mile of wheat fields in the Plains, watching a favorite epic on the big screen, or hearing that piece of music that always gets you, you are convinced again and again that you are meant for something special. Glory and zeal fill your heart. You write in your journal and dream big dreams. You’re chomping at the bit to bust these starting gates.

And then- despair.

You have no idea which race you’re supposed to run.

You give up in defeat, telling yourself you must have missed your cue. You wait for the next inspiration, the next “revelation” of what it is you’re supposed to do.

And so goes this cycle, again and again. Never really falling behind but never really getting ahead. The pure definition of frustration.

As someone who was at this stuck place for years and years, my heart aches to help you. I don’t have all the answers, I don’t know it all. But I do know what has brought freedom and rest to my striving heart.

Look at Him.

We make it so complicated. But God is simple. He says,

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Ps. 32:8

To know our way, we can’t be looking up, down, all around. We can’t be captivated by our own desires or the confusion and fear we feel. There’s only one place we will find direction.

In the gaze of His eyes.

We can’t see where we’re going if we’re looking everywhere else. We have to look at Him.

So today, dear friends, remember His eyes. Take time to make “eye contact” with Him, letting the gaze of your soul fall upon His gaze. And He will indeed guide you with His eye.

Thoughts on Passion: Part One

Thoughts on Passion

I never set out to be passionate about passion.

Passion doesn’t exactly fit into the tidy box of “hobbies”. When new friends ask over cups of chai what I like to do, saying “study passion” doesn’t elicit many exclamations of “Oh, me, too!” (Though I get even funnier looks when I say “practice solitude and silence”.)

As for writing on the subject, who would want to read piece after piece on passion? Surely the topic must be too ethereal and unrealistic.

But the weight and relevance of true passion kept playing in my mind- a weighty, as earthy as dirt and sweat kind of passion. Not the passion of philosophers, theorizing in lofty enclave. Not the passion of eros, filling beds and sheets. Not the passion of ambitious hungry souls, grasping for an aim in life.

The passion of which I speak is real passion, battle tried and battle triumphant by those who live it every day. This passion was not created for discussion and debate; it was not created for panting bodies or panting ambitions. This passion was created for souls, trapped in human-body-containers, walking the face of this earth. Longing for so much more. Longing for home- knowing there is, there must be, more.

This passion is about God. The Originator of it all. He is passion- fire hot and filled with wonder. To start anywhere else is lunacy.