A&E

Be Kind to the Artist in You

Whether we perform or create, there’s an artist inside who wants so much to blossom and flourish, to be able to grow, and to be given a chance to express.  The way we treat each other goes a long way in whether that becomes possible, but the way we treat ourselves is equally important.  Some of us are in situations in which it’s difficult for the artist to flourish – a discouraging situation at church or too little encouragement or support at home.  Some of us have fallen into patters we learned in childhood – we put ourselves down when we don’t feel we measure up.

Ephesians 4:32 tells us to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  That’s a great verse.  Have you ever thought of applying it to the artist in you?  The perfectionist is not kind to the artist inside, sets unrealistically high expectations, and sees only the negative.  But God made us to be artists!  When we mistreat the artist in us, we diminish someone God made and loves!

“There is only one you in the world, just one, and if that is not fulfilled then something has been lost.” Martha Graham2

Heavenly Father, help me today to offer compassion to myself and others, to forgive and to love the artist in me which is a reflection of you.  In Jesus’ name,  Amen.

1 – Noland, Rory, “The Heart of the Artist,” Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1999, p. 125

2 – Graham, Martha, “Blood Memory,” An Autobiography, Doubleday, New York, NY, 1991, pp. 4-5

Editor’s Note: This Lenten reflection can be found as the text for Friday, February 26 in the 2016 Lenten Devotional by Eastern faculty and staff. Special thanks goes to Watchmen Prayer Ministry, the Office of Faith and Practice, faculty and staff writers, and Patsy Ackerman for working to give this gift to the students. If you would like your own copy, pick one up in the rotunda outside of the chapel or request a PDF version of the devotional by emailing ofp@eastern.edu. This excerpt has been republished with Professor Janine Bryant’s consent.

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