This month we are looking at the spiritual practice of art!
Art describes the vast array of mediums used to create something from imagination, emotions, and spirit. This may connect with others in a profound and engaging way or for the purpose of creation. The arts are an incredible opportunity to express ourselves, let go of stress, and create something for the world.
Art awakens us to our spirit to find our inner voice. It is a language that has given expression to God's work in the world through time and the personal spiritual journey's people have walked. It gives insight into the struggles and happiness people have lived. Art can touch the divine in each of us and give space for God to sit and be present.
Let's explore some of the ways art can impact us and how we can use art in our lives.
Art and Our Spiritual Life
Art can be anything that we create. Many times it is purposeful and intentional but sometimes it comes by accident. The creation is formed and evokes thoughts, emotions, and vibes into the world. Much like art our spiritual lives are also what we create. It is our opportunity to be purposeful and intentional in what we do. We can allow our emotions and thoughts to move and take form into beliefs and values that shape who we are.
Using art can be an instrumental method in helping us connect to our inner selfs. It can enlighten us into who we are and what we believe. Art can be a meditation helping us find what we are searching for by using our creative senses. This method can calm, relax, and refocus us on what we are to be about in this world. Our spiritual life is only enhanced when we find a spiritual practice that fits us. For some art is the vehicle which can help them spiritually grow on their faith journey.
Ways Art Can Impact Us
1. Gives Hope - Art is inspirational to others and provides hope. We all have struggles and times of difficulty. Art allows us to sit in those struggles and see the hope that lies in creation. Hope emerges through our canvas to bring inspiration to others and ourself.
2. Tells Our Story - Art is a way to communicate our story. This entails our current feelings, emotions, spiritual journey, and perspective. Sometimes it is difficult to use words to express our journey's. Art gives people opportunities to find their visual voices. Voices that speak beyond words into the emotions they feel.
3. Art Heals - Painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. give physical ways for people to express themselves and let go of their emotions. It allows new insights and perspectives to sink in. Healing takes shape and gives light to hope. Art allows us to restructure our pain into something powerful. It starts with a stroke and transforms into something beautiful.
4. Connects Experiences - What we see in art connects us to our own experiences. Memories flow through our minds, emotions relive, and for just a moment we are connected to the person who created it. Ultimately we are separate individuals but art engages us in that shared experience.
5. Invitation into Community - Engaging in activity is instrumental for community and our own health. Art is a common interest that people can share together by doing which not only enhances their friendships but also their own personal happiness. This participation is an invitation into community. An invitation to have others travel with you on your journey.
Incorporating Art Into Our Life
For those of us who do not use art on a regular basis the question is how do we use this as a spiritual practice. Here are some ideas:
Draw What You See - Look at something around you. I mean really look. Try to see the spirit in it and attempt to capture the essence of it in your art. It challenges you to look underneath the surface for meaning. How will you express what you see? What symbolizes the spirit captured in the moment?
Awaken Your Creative Force - Creating something is powerful and starts us on a journey of awakening something inside of us. The act of creation is inspiring and allows our inner self to be outwardly expressed. There is no agenda, no plan, just creating what comes without judgement.
Attend Art Walks - Art walks or art shows are great opportunities to incorporate art into our lives while also inviting others. Art provides conversational opportunities to discuss our thoughts and perspectives. This can enhance our friendships and connect us deeper to others.
Adult Coloring Books - Coloring is a form of art and can really help us go into a meditative state. Focusing on the task allows our body and mind to relax and let go of stress. This makes us present in the moment. They are an excellent strategy to use in church if you have difficulty focusing.
Art Blogs - Follow a few art blogs to learn skills and become inspired by new creative ideas. Exposure to art gives us permission to become artistic ourselves. Here is a list of the 14 top art blogs.
Carry Materials - Art can happen anywhere! Intentionally carrying a sketch book or other materials with you provides opportunities for us to engage in the practice. When you are inspired stop and be creative. This practice can allow people to live in the moment and make art a more center piece of their spiritual life. It also provides opportunities for connection with people to happen.
Be creative as you spiritually practice using art in your life.
Thank you to all those following along! Please comment on the blog if you like it by saying "This is awesome", "Thanks for sharing" or any other thoughts you want to express.
This week practice using art in someway to enhance your life.
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
The mission of the Seventy
“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.” Luke 10:1-3 NRSV
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting.
They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation.
They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.
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