Lessons From My 20s: There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

If you are just now visiting this blog, I am turning 30 on Friday. I have spent the past month writing lessons that I have learned in my 20s. Today’s lesson…There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

Sophie painting in a church service at Mosaic in Seattle.

I wish this was my idea. I wish that this was my title even. But I stole it. Jady preached a sermon several years ago with this title. As I sat in my seat listening I was stunned at the truth in what he was saying. 
There are some things that only art can say. It’s not because artists are reclusive and lack social skills, so they are forced to draw out what they feel like a twisted game of Pictionary. Some realms of communication and expression that cannot be translated into any other median are left to be expressed by art alone. Some aspect of God that is delivered through our senses. Through vibrant color, a snapshot of a photo. A chorus that captures the inmost places of your heart. The poems that draw out your imagination & the smells that are produced as food is cooked with skill. 
Here are some photographs that say a lot. I’ll tell you what they stir in me.

I can’t take my eyes off this photo. Something about humanity. The strength of love’s tender resilience. It speaks to the soul of beauty. It makes me feel secure.

An image of creation. The unexpected colors, and the blur
of the fog…
A firey peace fills my heart when I see it.

The childlike places in my heart smile. I am reminded of the wonder of life. The imagination spins and I begin to dream. What can God do next. What lies beyond the expected?

Movement. The physical expression of an internal pulse.
Oh! To feel something so deeply that my body’s response is
movement. Action.

My husband is a very smart man. One of the smartest I know. He has severe dyslexia & school was always a challenge growing up. He was told that he was stupid. He was openly made fun of by his 5th grade science teacher. The school counselors told him he should just go to a trade school instead of finishing high school. When he told them he wanted to go to a four year college, they smirked. Told him that he couldn’t do it. So much pain, fear, frustration. He had numerous conversations telling people that he was bigger than his dyslexia. One day he was having a particularly hard time with fractions. He went to bed that night feeling the heavy weight of defeat.

Knock, knock. It was his mom.  Get out of bed Jady. Come to the kitchen table.” She had written the math problems that he had been trying to solve on a large poster board. She gave it to him along with some paint. “Paint over it.”And he did.

The harassing and accusing math problems were covered with swirls of color. Strokes of creativity took their place. Every ridiculing and doubtful conversation represented on the paper was overcome with beauty. He went to bed that night feeling free. He had said something that night. He had said that he was an overcomer.

Art brings beauty. Art brings comfort, hope, joy, reflection. A perspective of wonder. A dynamic tale told through our senses. Art says something of God to our hearts. We are all artists. Music, writing, dance, culinary, crafting, drawing, paint, drama…so many forms.

We are all artists with stories to tell. Get out your pens, paint, guitar, ballet shoes…and say something. Say it loudly from the deepest places within you. Be moved. There are some things that only art can say.



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8 responses to “Lessons From My 20s: There Are Some Things Only Art Can Say

  1. This is a beautiful post. All the pictures you used spoke to me as well. I love the lesson your husband's mom used to show him that he was more, he was an overcomer. Happy Birthday and many blessings!

  2. Thank you for reminding me of the need for artistic expression. I have tried to bury that part of me with practical things, but your words echoed deep within me.

  3. That is so powerful, Elizabeth. A HUGE YES and AMEN!!!!!!!!Dad

  4. The paint photo shares a fair amount of similarity to the 'sawyer' google front page, but with more grace.

  5. So funny. It is similar. Thanks for pointing it out!

  6. One of my favorite sermons ever by jady… i cry every time I hear that story, or tell it for that matter. Hope your beautiful family is well!

  7. I haven't read your blog or any blog in awhile so I'm catching up. This entry took my breath away Elizabeth, and brought tears to my eyes. Our stories intertwined with God's… life; mercy, hope and freedom covered in extraordinary love.Mama Jeannie

  8. crying even as I read that story about Jady for the 2nd time. I want to be that mom. and I want that revelation myself…deep, deep down. thanks so much for sharing!

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