Walking On Water
Reflections on Faith & Art
Artists have always been drawn to the wild, wide elements they cannot control or understand—the sea, mountains, fire. To be an artist means to approach the light, and that means to let go our control, to allow our whole selves to be placed with absolute faith in that which is greater than we are. The novel we sit down to write and the one we end up writing may be very different, just as the Jesus we grasp and the Jesus who grasps us may also differ.
Augustine wrote, “Let every good and true Christian understand that wherever truth may be found, it belongs to his Master.” The principle has come to us generally as “All truth is God’s truth” having since been expanded with elaboration by many including Aquinas and Calvin. For many of us, the real battle for alignment is not one of scientific or theological debate but rather the unification of the conflicting elements within ourselves.
In Walking on Water, Madeline L’Engle said:
When mind and heart work together, they know each other as two people who love each other know; and as the love of two people is a gift, a totally unmerited, incomprehensible gift, so is the union of mind and heart. David cried out to God, “Unite my heart to fear thy name.” It is my prayer, too.
Do you agree that prayer and the creative process are similar in that “the mind and the heart, the intellect and the intuition, the conscious and the subconscious mind, stop fighting each other and collaborate”? How has this been true for you, if at all? Have you ever considered your prayer life and your creative life to be so linked? Do you feel that these things—mind, heart, intellect, intuition, conscious, subconscious—really do collaborate when you are in prayer? How? Do they collaborate when you are creating?
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