Of Faith, Life, Art, and Stories
I have long grappled with whether or not my stories and blog posts are “Christian” enough. It’s a good thing in that I’m a Christian, as it would not make much sense to be pondering such things if I was a Buddhist or a Hindu, for example. But at the same time I chafe somewhat at the need to tick all the “right” boxes with the finished sentences and paragraphs. I want my stories to be considered good because they’re good, not because I mentioned Jesus ‘x’ number of times or quoted however many Bible verses. I just want to tell good stories, real or fictional.
Jesus knew how to tell stories both true and pretend when He walked this dusty ground. He used allegories, facts, and metaphors to make a point and to spark understanding and to give hope to wearied souls. So I, too, want to be able to provide people with a moment of “A-ha!” or with a knowing nod of the head, a comfort in seeing they are not alone in their journeys, struggles, and joys. And if a moment of escape or respite from this world is needed, I would like to be able to provide that, too.
And I struggle with how to articulate the ways in which my faith, art, and life are all inextricably coloured and shaded by each other ad infinitum. I wonder if I should be listening to Coldplay and Jesus Culture and Plumb and Mumford & Sons in one messy loop on my iPod. By doing so, am I being less salty and a little dimmer in terms of being a light to the world I’m to be in but not of?
I confuse myself sometimes (in case that last sentence didn’t make that clear).But I do know this: I can’t produce work that is not, in some way, influenced by or expressive of my faith. Because that faith is at the core of who I am and of who I am becoming.
No, I don’t always get it right. I make mistakes. But I’m learning. And I do so hope to someday hear in regards to all these words and questions and stories, “Well done, good and faithful servant . . . Enter into the joy of your lord.”
*Photo Credit: ben britten ©2005 (Flickr via Creative Commons)