Mandy Steward wrote a post a few days back, as I mentioned, that resonated pretty deeply with people. The response to the post was hugely evident on Twitter, and people seemed to want to respond beyond what 140 characters would allow. When I read the post, and saw the response, I couldn’t help but ask Mandy a few questions about what was going on behind the scenes, in her life, and faith, and art.
In response to my questions, Mandy humbly apologized for not having all the answers. But what she went on to say provided a more deep, thoughtful response to my questions than if she had tried to conjure up pat answers. This is great, because acknowledging that we don’t have it all together provides the space needed to grow. Here’s what she had to say:
I am just at the beginning of this journey with Him as an artist…He’s unfolding a bit at a time, and that blog post was just the next step for me. It’s real and raw because it’s right where I’m at and I’m asking these questions right along with you and the others who took interest in my post.
In response to what advice she would give other artists regarding their artistic aspirations and reconciling their craft with their faith, Mandy added:
Ask Him to reveal personal and unique answers & next steps and then sit back and watch all the channels through which He’ll talk to you: books, music, movies, children, friends, other artists, nature. For me personally some of the more non-traditional channels (meaning not the church and the Bible) are how I’m hearing Him the loudest right now. I can’t explain that, but I’m oh so thankful for it. He’s meeting me where I’m at.
I would say, be an artist who has the audacity to believe that God can, will, and does speak to you, personally. There is no formula to hearing from God. And really, would we want there to be? We’re artists. We love mystery, variety, exploration, the chase. We love to unlock hidden secrets. What works today may not work tomorrow.
When I have more to say on the topic of church and art and faith I’m sure it will pour out easily into words because they’ll be His words. For now I’m wrestling. In the meantime, I would say to other artists, don’t wait on me or any other person to get your answers from. Start seeking God for your own answers. You might be surprised what He reveals.
I’m grateful for artists like Mandy, who are chasing after their God-given dreams and making personal, communal, Kingdom-minded art.