STORIES AT YWAM HARPENDEN
(Photo: Gillary Torres)
Whispers of Creation: When God Speaks Through Art – Part I
At first glance, everything seems out of order. Pieces of clay, pencils and brushes, mixing colours on canvas and on the floor. However, a closer and more attentive look reveals, little by little, the detailed work in each piece that takes shape and place in the art studio.
It is there, in a small room decorated with easels, paintings and sculptures, that the Missional Arts Course, in YWAM Harpenden, takes place. A setting that, for some people, perfectly describes the process of how God speaks, going from a mysterious sketch on a white canvas to lines and colours that make sense. And what happens when both things come together and God communicates through art?
Between one line and another, Corrie Groff, one of the course participants, perfects a new artistic skill while working carefully on a drawing. But not only that. The concentration that the pencil outlines on paper require also helps her to develop the ability to hear the voice of God.
“One thing that I noticed when I am being creative is that I get really intense. When you’re creating something, you just become really focused and inside you become really still. So I find a lot easier to hear God’s voice. As I am painting something, He will be whispering over my shoulder. I think it’s just easier to hear His voice when I am creating”, explains the young artist.
While for Corrie the process takes place from the inside out, others, such as Deborah Cruz, do the other way around. In this case, it is through dance that the artist establishes a deeper and sharper connection with the presence of God through movements. It’s almost as if she can hear not just with her ears, but with her whole body.
“As I am painting something,
He will be whispering over my shoulder.”
“When I start to move, thoughts, impressions or images will come to my mind and then I feel in my body how to move as a response to that. Then, I start to pray and intercede”, describes Deborah.
The point is that each experience can be unique and different, depending on the process of each person. The process that can take time and patience to make a raw piece of clay into the sculpture of a face full of techniques and details, similar to the project in which works Maytte Sarabia, who also participates in the course.
She shares that sometimes the communication with God happens even before starting an artistic work, separating a time of prayer and reading the Bible, for example. “But most of the time, God talks to me while I’m doing something. He brings to the surface things I couldn’t see before”, reveals Maytte.
The visual artist and one of the leaders of the Missional Arts Course, Sandro Cruz, explains that the relationship with God happens through the invisible. Therefore, the artistic process allows people to connect internally with the voice of God and go beyond what can be seen in the concrete world. “The area of creativity is much more internal. You receive from God in an inward way, you process it and then express His nature and character”.
And when, in addition to talking to the artist, God also speaks through what is created?
(To be continued…)
Written by Esaú Moraes.