God’s Love Letter to Artists
My Beloved Artists and Creatives,
This is my love letter to you. Though I rule over everything, and hold time in my hand, I have never lost sight of you. I created you for a reason and I love you. My dear sons and daughters, I gave you your talents and your desire to create. I drew you to myself. I called you to use your gifts with passion and excellence. Your very desire to create is something I placed within you because I wanted you to enjoy the act of creating, expressing and communicating to others.
It is up to you to choose how to use the gifts I gave you. There are materials and resources in every culture to create great art. You live in a blessed time. More than ever before, you have the capacity to share your gifts with the world. I want you to see the blessings you have, to be thankful, and to go create all that I have gifted you to create.
I want you to know, even in times where you may feel alone, you are not. If I can lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the promised land, take heart, and imagine what I can do for you. I am not done, and I am with you for the entire journey until you join me in the New Jerusalem.
In Love, I Chose You
It was no accident. Stop listening to the enemy whispering in your ear that you were my second, third, or last choice. You are my first choice. Hold on to the truths you have read in scripture and heard from pastors and friends. Remember the words of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where my servant Paul encouraged them saying, “For he[God] chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4). I chose you, without hesitation.
In Joy, I Gave You Creativity
To my loved ones who create, write, dance, compose, express ideas in new and fresh ways and produce or patronize the arts. It was with joy that I placed within your soul the love of colors, characters, movement, paintings, architectures and stories. My love is for you who paint and write in an isolated studio, as well as for you who work in concert with others in grand productions – creating live concerts, movies, TV shows and video games.
Never lose sight of this: Your desire to create, to communicate in creative ways, and your desire to connect with others is what I love about you. Like a father who takes pride in watching his children grow up and become men and women, I take pride in seeing you grow, and develop your talents. I created the universe to inspire you and to remind you of my very nature. I love to give you joy and to see you find inspiration through creation, through community, through my Word, and through your day to day life as you learn to love me as well as your neighbor.
In Generosity, I Celebrated the Arts
When I rescued my people from slavery and from life in Egypt, I seized the opportunity to transform their community life. I wanted my people to move from slavery to freedom, and from sorrow to joy. As their God, I needed to address their hearts tendency to stray, and so I gave them the law to show them what a flourishing community looks like. But as their creator, I also needed to awaken their imagination, so I gave them art: The Tabernacle, the Ark of the covenant, lavish priestly garments, with incense to adorn their worship of me. Then I led them as a pillar of fire by day and a pillar smoke by night. The law alone cannot inspire.
In Worship, I Wooed My People Through Imagination
Imagination and creativity were at the center of my adopted family – the children of Israel. Never forget I began by commissioning art. It was from Mt. Sinai, I curated a culture with beauty and symbolism at the center. It was for this purpose, I ‘filled Bezalel with my spirit” (Exodus 31). He was the first person in the Bible I chose to fill with my spirit in this way. Why was this so important? Because I intended from the beginning to grab the attention of my people through the arts. Just as creation spoke to Adam and Eve, so this new Tabernacle would speak to the Israelites.
As creatives and artists, I have created you with a desire for meaning, and to seek out … ‘the rest of the story.’ It is in stories where my people find the truth of who they are. It is within the drama of Passover and The Last Supper that my people remember their redemption. This is why I commanded my people to remember the stories, to celebrate the feasts, and recall the grand dramatic story of their redemption from Egypt.
Not only did I redeem them, but I captured their imagination through incense, through garments, and the gold-laden ark. They needed something to grip their senses, because my people need to taste and see my beauty, not simply follow the laws and be obedient. I have always loved them deeply. I will always do whatever it takes to speak my love to them, to awaken them and draw them back to me.
In Community, I Call You to be My Aroma
I rejoiced in seeing you learn to embrace and develop your talents. I was tickled to see you awaken to the insights and abilities I gave you. Your gifts were always an invitation to contribute to the world around you. Your curiosity enables you to learn and understand more of your craft, more about me, and more about your neighbors. I gave you this desire to keep trying new and better ways to express what I have placed in your heart.
But my dear child, be careful. I did not give you these gifts to bring you glory. Though I rejoice when others recognize your talent, and though I celebrate every new style and technique you add to your repertoire, your joy will be lost if you begin to focus upon yourself. And what does it benefit you to gain the world of awards, wealth and fame if you lose your relationship with me.
I say this with tenderness in my heart – I rejoice when you master your craft and when you are recognized for your talent. I want all my children to be faithful to develop the talents I gave them. But listen closely to my heart in this – if it becomes all about you, it loses its power.
Sadly, You will also lose out on seeing how much I could have blessed and awakened people through your art, and your community will lose out in catching a glimpse of my glory through your work. I designed you to be an aroma (2 Cor. 2:15) of Christ to the world around you. You are talented and gifted, but your true joy is found in showing others how your talent points to something transcendent – a relationship with their creator.
In Dry Times, Lift Up Your Eyes
My dear ones, life is not easy. If only you could see it all from the vantage point of eternity. I know it is hard, or it even feels crippling in the moment. Be careful not to confuse success with growth, or happiness with holiness. I am working in your life to make you more holy, and to help you grow closer to me, not simply to make the world celebrate your talent. Don’t lose sight of eternity.
Remember me, your savior. I was betrayed by a close friend (Judas), doubted by a dear disciple (Thomas) and denied by my most vocal defender (Peter). If I suffered on earth, you should not be caught unaware when you also suffer (Philippians 3:10). But be comforted that your sufferings and trials are intended to draw you closer to me. I know your pain. I know the devastation people experience on earth. You are not alone, and there is a purpose.
Run to me, your savior. Like Mary pouring out the alabaster jar of perfume upon me before my death, pour out your prayers, your worries, your fears, and your hopes. Place them before me. Whatever I have placed in your life, it is for the good. I cannot show you why right now. You are not yet able to understand my plans (Isaiah 55:8). Besides, if you could see the plan from beginning to end, it would cease to be faith. You may not understand until you are by my side in the New Jerusalem, but trust me, I am with you in the fire. You are not abandoned. You are being refined.
In Eternity, Your Creativity Will Soar
In heaven there is no need for evangelism. There will be no need for discipleship programs or missions organization. Yet, I will always have a place for artists. The New Jerusalem is beautiful, but it is not a city in which your talents are not wanted. On the contrary, it is a city where your gifts and talents will have no ceiling. There will be no want. There will be no lack. The paints, canvases, equipment and opportunities will never end. There will be camaraderie and collaboration on a level you can’t right now imagine. In your current culture, there is too much selfishness, fear, insecurity and destructive competition. In the New Jerusalem, you will no longer struggle with these artifacts of sin and shame.
But what I cannot wait to share with you is the pure joy we will have together. Creating, singing, celebrating and rejoicing in what is true, good and beautiful. No longer will you see me as through a veil, but you will see me face to face. Your inspiration and creativity will no longer be marred by your own sin, shame and insecurity. You will be completely at peace, completely whole, and completely free to create, celebrate and curate all I have placed in your heart.
In the Present Moment, I Am Inviting You
Right now, I want you to forget about all that frustrates you. Let go of the pain, the scars, and the trauma you have endured. Don’t wait for the New Jerusalem to draw deeply from the well of joy, peace, and hope I have for you today. Don’t let the creativity and inspiration I gave you, get zapped and drained by the worries of the day. Come to the foot of the cross. Lay them at my feet and resist the temptation to pick them back up. I am here, waiting for you to spend time with me. Stop carrying these burdens alone, I promised to transform your burdens, so they become light when you are with me. (Matt 11:30)
I want your creativity to burst forth. I gave you your talents to be developed and mastered. Don’t be ruled by sin, shame and guilt. Don’t let the worries of the day cripple your creativity like weeds choking out the flowers. Bring all your fears and sorrows to me and let me return to you the joy of your salvation. Let me release your creativity as you become free from sin, doubt and fear.
I love you. I gifted you. I called you my son or daughter. I can’t wait to see you use your talents and gifts in all the ways I have called you to use them. And when your time is done, I can’t wait to see your creativity flourish in a world unhindered by the effects of the Fall. Until that day, remain faithful. Whether times are easy or challenging, stay close to me and I will never fail you. Remember the words of my servant James, using every opportunity to “draw close to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Copyright © 2021 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.
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