I still do not consider myself to be a creative person. My pastor always identifies me as creative, but I am not sure I can see that yet. I have come to recognize that I think in pictures. Sometimes I hear words strewn together so beautifully that I can see those words come together as a whole in the form of a picture. It is new to think of myself as an artist.
Recently, I read Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.” That to me is what helps me to claim my prayers on canvas as art.
As a team, we at Sanctified Art often find ourselves consciously—and subconsciously—thinking about the practical and big picture implications of the art we create. Our creative process often revolves around these questions: How will this art be used? How will it stir imagination, invite participation, and offer space to heal? How might what we create become life-giving for others?
These questions are rooted in a bigger, more philosophical question: What, exactly, does art do? There is no one answer, of course, but we can't deny that art does something. It affects us, even if we create it with no greater intentions or expectations.
This week's wholeheARTed conversation couldn't have come at a better time. After the white supremacy rallies in Charlottesville, we're ever reminded of the undercurrent of racism that rocks our nation—in slow and steady tides, and in extreme, raging storms.
In a world where guns and money and hatred and fear often have such a strong grip, why art? Why spend time nurturing our creativity when we could nurture broken bodies and institutions instead?
Our wholeheARTed guest this week lives out a creative calling that roots her in collaboration—with inspiration, words, and people. As the Executive Director of Rev Gal Blog Pals, an online platform connecting women clergy all around the world, Rev. Martha Spong believes in the power of words to create sacred space and common ground. As a pastor to pastors, clergy coach and author, Martha lives into her multi-vocational calling with her creativity by her side.