create. add to the beauty.

The artist, and even the appreciator of the artwork at times, gets discouraged.  Perhaps, this is because the purpose of the creative pursuit lurks most often in corners, shadowed by the physical, tangible, and measureable. Why not drop the brush, give way to silence, or stand still in the wake of such need screaming that the ugly does not need beauty but relief? I offer two reminders here that convey much better than I could why we need beauty and why we continue to tell the story be it with the word, the image, the melody, or the dance. 

Andrew Peterson’s inspired blog entry. If you read what is below without shedding a tear, follow the link and read it again.

“…The little things matter, and the big things matter, and hearts far and near need hope.

Art, if it can be ascribed value, is most valuable when its beauty (and the beauty of the truth it tells) bewilders, confounds, defies evil itself; it does so by making what has been unmade; it subverts the spirit of the age; it mends the heart by whispering mysteries the mind alone can’t fathom; it fulfills its highest calling when into all the clamor of Hell it tells the unbearable, beautiful, truth that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. None of these songs and stories matter if the beauty they’re adding to isn’t the kind of beauty that redeems and reclaims.

That doesn’t mean every song and every story has to be a sermon. Not at all! But the very existence of great stories and stirring music and good art is a sermon itself. That anyone at all in the world would set their sad heart and tired hands to the work of wreaking beauty out of chaos is a monument to Grace. It reminds us of light and high beauty, and it laments the world’s great sorrow. It gives the heart language to rejoice and language to mourn.

Creation groans like a woman in labor? Even so. And we know every birth is a tight-wound cord of fear and joy, pain and pleasure, striving and surcease. Let those who can, tell that story. Let those in Christ whose hands paint worlds, whose tongues limn loveliness, whose ears hear astral strains–let them make, and make, and make. And let the made things adorn the dark and proclaim the coming Kingdom till the King himself is come.”

Sara Grove’s song, “Why It Matters.” (I borrowed the album title for this post.)

Sit with me and tell me once again
Of the story that’s been told us
Of the power that will hold us
Of the beauty, of the beauty
Why it matters

Speak to me until I understand
Why our thinking and creating
Why our efforts of narrating
About the beauty, of the beauty
And why it matters

Like the statue in the park
Of this war torn town
And it’s protest of the darkness
And the chaos all around
With its beauty, how it matters
How it matters

Show me the love that never fails
The compassion and attention
Midst confusion and dissention
Like small ramparts for the soul
How it matters

Like a single cup of water
How it matters

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