Really digging this song today for some reason!
Who do I say I love
When I say “I love you, my God”?
What kind of force
or Being or less
Are you my God?
You draw me, you call
But in love, You are Love!
And I am on to you!
I am on to you!
I am on to you!
You’re love. I am on to you.
God is an artist…that’s almost needless to say…
It is increasingly common to hear that we, being created in the image of a creator, are also artists…
But try telling that to an accountant at Price Waterhouse Cooper who sees nothing artistic in his job (which is truly JUST a job–he’s equally passionless about numbers as he is for the arts) and nothing artistic in his heart.
Try telling that to the pragmatist 43 year old too busy (and to sensible) to wonder if a writer, a poet, a singer, a painter of panoramic themescapes, lies in their cold soul.
Try telling that to the numb, calloused, exhausted, burnt out, nervously attention deficient God fearer…who, truth be told, really doesn’t even identify God as an artist…well–perhaps with a grrrreat stretch of what that word means…maybe then…maybe…
And, I’m beginning to think that word NUMB is actually a wonderful word for it all. Our culture–the dominate western culture of “competence and competition” is disaffected by grief–we are vaccinated from tears and tragedy; a far cry from the wailing dirge of a New Orleans slave saunter of sadness for the loss of a loved one. We are so removed from grief that we even theologize away God Incarnates grief. I have heard friends, good friends, report that Jesus couldn’t have possibly wept (at least not for anything more than show) at Lazarus’ burial…that wouldn’t make sense…because our God, like our fantasy of our self, cannot feel, cannot be punctured by the horrible mundane disaster that is this livingness. We are NUMB…and as Gilmore and Waters (Pink Floyd) said, “comfortably numb” at that.
Numbness, particularly to grief and the ordinary tragedy ongoing around us, it what prevents us from enjoying the artist heart of God and in ourselves. One creator said that “writing is easy, simply cut open a vein and bleed”…because art is simply feeling…tapping in to the deep undercurrents of fear, frustration, hope, hallelujah hilarity, exhileration, empathy, friendship, loneliness, terror, efulgent and bursting love…etc…art is just touching that heart in ourselves and in God.
Brueggeman says that “art is the only thing which the empire cannot co-opt, cannot steal, cannot understand”, therefore we are not to be managers (those who focus on the mechanical Marthaing of realities) but imaginers. Not managers but imaginers. Dreamers. Tricksters and troubadors. Singers of songs and painters of God’s presence… In those expressions God Himself will be expressed. He will not only be honored, but his good dream will expand in fabulous fiction but also in fact.
So…I dare you what I have been daring myself to become of late…an artist. A professional “bleeder”…pipelining in to the Creator’s throbbing searching heart and annoucing it as my own. A creator.
A people called to be creators.
just as your hand closes around on mine
and the words come like backfires of a cold ignition
just as I thought I saw an arrow–did you
it’s our daughters and sons bleeding again
singing out their pirate anthems of Mercy and Justice and and and and
something more! Something more than this…
The democratic Temples aching for relief, the stock market sold and locked away
the sounds of yesterday pleading with the theory of tomorrow
And the wounded feet of a sojourner savior gathering the least of these
“A New World!” and “Prepare the Way!”…how blessed are those feet?
The feet that oil anoints and glistens against tiny beacons
waiting for funeral
Oh Divine suffering love…conquering all…conquering my culture and my context with
a Word–beauty of your heart.
just as we sit and whisper what should be shouted
just as it was before…
just as…just as…just as.