I don’t think I know one talented artist who hasn’t lived through some sort of pain, confusion, or a “dark night of the soul”. Artists are prophetic. They reveal the voice of God that speaks through their own perspective on life and darkness and hope. I have seen dance choreographers, musicians, visual artists, etc., reflect the beautiful human side of God… the side that says, “this is my journey with God. The crap. The ugly parts. The joyful parts. This is what my heart looks like and because He made my heart, what I have to bring is beautiful.” Artists and prophetic people are sensitive, which means I’m sensitive. Wow…. am I sensitive. I feel everything around me and sometimes it is overwhelming.
I was thinking about all of this this morning. I went to bed late having wrestled with God for most of the night. Getting up early to sit before Him didn’t sound super appealing after four hours of sleep. Words were no longer formulating on my tongue. I didn’t know what to say anymore. I didn’t know what to write in my journal. The normal stream of consciousness wasn’t flowing freely. But I got my pen out anyway because the thoughts that were coming to me were so tender that if I said what I really wanted to, I would completely lose it. Instead I wrote lyrics. My lyrics magically knew what was going on in my heart without pounding me over the head with it.
Art is prayer. An artist may not be praying to the right person in their art but inside they are begging for something, communicating with Someone, directing their soul toward something they can’t see.
Jesus, I love how you let me communicate to You in this way. I love that even though I’m not saying out loud exactly what I’m thinking, you see what I’m trying to say through my art. You see my heart behind it and it reminds me that You know me.
I hate insecurity. It’s a plague, a virus, whatever you want to call it and it’s everywhere, especially in me. I hate that side of myself that is constantly worried about where I stand with people. I hate to see it in other people as well. Musicians and singers are some of the worst about insecurity. I’ve worked with lots of musicians over the years and we are constantly fretting about our role on a team or in a band. I would think that this is only an issue with “sensitive” musicians but I’m pretty sure athletes and business men deal with the same kinds of fears, competitiveness and anxieties. Basically, it’s universal. Everybody has a little bit of it whether it’s about relationships, work, or ministry… there has got to be a list compiled somewhere of things people get insecure over.
Last week the Lord told me to start reading the story of Saul and David. He said He wanted to speak to me about love. So I have been reading and praying through 1 Samuel slowly. Yesterday I read chapter 9 where Saul is out looking for his dad’s stray donkeys. He and his servant have been looking everywhere. Saul doesn’t want to come back home without the donkeys because he’s scared his dad is going to freak out. But as they wandered through Israel, Saul’s servant mentioned that he knew about this prophet guy who always had the right information. Surely, if anyone knew where the donkeys were, this guy did. That’s when they met Samuel on the road. Samuel looked up at big, strapping Saul and made a statement to him, “you are the desire of all Israel.” Dang. That kind of sounds like a big deal.
Of course Saul’s reply was somewhere along the lines of “Are you serious? You’re full of crap! My tribe is the smallest tribe in Israel and my family is the least in that tribe! You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I thought about that statement and how Saul’s insecurity emerged that day. He let that insecurity drive his whole life. He let that insecurity open a door for a murderous spirit that eventually led to his own demise. He let his view of himself as a weak, unimportant, unworthy man overpower the Word of the Lord that he had a massive call on his life to lead all of Israel as their king. He was sure that somewhere along the way, others would discover his unworthiness and all of what God had promised would be taken away. And because he believed that, it happened.
Saul didn’t get that his call as king wasn’t about him anyway. And that’s where the subject of love comes in. When we’re being loved in a way we’re craving to be loved or when we are receiving recognition for our accomplishments it can create this temporary relief in us… relief from a lie we’ve believed about ourselves. But eventually something else will happen that will pound the lie deeper into our souls and all of that relief that we have felt will be instantly evacuated. But when we know our identity and believe the truth about ourselves and the promises He has spoken over us, we are wide open to love others well. Suddenly, it’s no longer about us anymore. We’re okay. We’re secure in His love. Now it’s about someone else that needs to be loved and to be shown God’s love.