Wild Words . . . Photos & Fine Art

Co-creating by heart with sandy cathcart through writers helps and art info, focusing on all things wild.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The following is an entry my friend, Andrew posted in The Circle on Ted Dekker's site. They are repeated here with Andrew's permission:


I have forgotten how to worship.

I am indicative of an entire generation: we have followed after glib entertainment to the point that we've dichotomized true creativity and godliness. Gone is the passion and excellence of the Psalms—most modern attempts at “worship” music result in little more than generic riffs and lyrics so shallow and insipid I wonder how any of us can sing them and feel honest, let alone clean inside.

What happened to depth and brilliance in Christianity, particularly in regard to the arts? Why we have abandoned the arts to such a large extent eludes me. I am left without answer. And I know at the core of my soul that this abandonment has brutalized me. I am a victim; a bastard child of the Christian artistic ghetto.

Care to see my scars? They are deep, written on my heart. . . . I have forgotten how to worship. I have forgotten majesty and wonder and glory and horror and dread and joy and sorrow and the profound meaning of faith. This amnesia is cultural and corporate, cutting to the very heart of our identity: glad worshipers of the Creator of all things.

We Christians, children of the King and Creator, Christ Himself, should be the most creative of all peoples—we have His Spirit within. Look at what kind of place Christianity has held in the past in the Western Hemisphere. We have been the leaders of all arts—in all areas—to the glory of God. What happened to that? Why do non-Christians dominate the mainstream of music, graphic arts, literature, movies, drama and every other expression of creativity?

-- I was upset, but didn't know how to continue from there---at least, not in terms of literature. I spoke of music, but words are often more important. They tend to last longer. To haunt you long after all melodies have ceased and your ears dulled.

What, then, do we do with these words? How do we respond to this world?

Works of grit and grace.

Darkness.

Depravity.

Redemption.

Ted, you have laid the groundwork; many of us are preparing to follow.

Lately, God has been teaching me about His heart: the poor, the needy, the downtrodden, the broken, and the despised—all those bereft of hope are dear to Him. To know Him, we must serve the “least of these” in His name. (Jeremiah 22:15,16) This is how Christ chose to begin His ministry: by declaring the captives free; the broken whole; the sinners redeemed. I am called to be a broken-hearted comforter—a wounded healer who gently points others toward Him.

The art of worship—of adoration—means no more running or hiding; there is no more room for my wants and desires, but only His. Without surrender, our so-called worship is meaningless lip service, nothing more.

The same is true of our writing. Are we willing to worship Him? On His terms?

The verse I referenced is fascinating: Your own father, did he not eat and drink? He administered justice and righteousness, then it went well with him. He took up the case of the poor and needy, then it went well. Is this not what it means to know Me? [This is] the LORD's declaration. (HCSB)

Here are the commonly taught criteria for knowing God. Righteousness. Justice. Defending the poor. But there is another element. The first one. He ate and drank. He lived life. Naturally. Piety is not somehow separated from daily life. So why do we think that we can be holy people serving a holy God, and not engage in . . . life?


Reflecting His Glory,

~ Lamp

4 Comments:

At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks good, but I am just skimming for my name.

your son,

the very best one,

the only one who really cares,

clay

 
At 10:37 PM, Blogger Sandy Cathcart said...

Hey Son,

The only one who really cares . . . thanks for stopping by.

Love,
Mom

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Donna J. Shepherd said...

Slowly but surely, we Christians are awakening from our artistic lethargy and creating significant offerings in music and literature.

But I have to say that I enjoy the old hymns, too, many written by saints who endured great tials before penning the words that resonate within our souls.

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger Sandy Cathcart said...

Donna,

Thanks for stopping by.

Yes! I enjoy the old hymns too. I often sing them for special music and have people come up to me afterward asking for the words and having no clue that I was singing a hymn.

Years ago I sat in a church in Chengdu, China and sang hymns in English while the congregation around me sang them in Chinese. It was sooooo awesome.

They certainly do resonate.

 

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