One of the definitions for language is a system of communication used by a particular country or community. Art has always been a way for the maker to communicate to/with the world around them. It may be a commentary on the everyday, a recording of history, an expression of thoughts/feelings/dreams, or a way to give a voice to that which seemed inexpressible by any other means. I have met artists that were gifted orators, and those that struggled to effectively communicate through speech. Looking at their work, you might never know who was who. There is amazing value in the visual. The language of art can whisper thoughts, shout dreams, sing sorrows, and chat about truths.
If your words struggle to express….say it with art!
Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
I have always loved this Psalm! First and foremost….GOD IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE. How do we praise him? WITH EVERYTHING WE GOT! The Psalmist lists instruments, dancing, and singing. I can totally get behind this. I love seeing faith being expressed through the arts. However, I feel that the visual arts can be added to this list in our churches and gatherings of believers, as well as individual expressions of faith. The visual artist can praise through paint, cry out through charcoal, question through woodworking, and share through mixed media. They are not images to be idolized, but much like the Psalms…to be read by the viewer as a record of the artists faith journey and encourage others along the way. There are times that we struggle to communicate though, even in our artistic tongue. Romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” I believe the Christian artist resides in this place at times. The marks of our paintbrush becomes our wordless groans moved by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This honors the Lord as well. Your art (in whatever form it takes) is part of who God created you to be. Therefore, it is how you can express Psalm 150 in your life.
….say it with art…