Saturday, May 11, 2013

What Else Happened

If you’ve been following along, you would think I made a trip to England and back, only to lose my passport and find it again.  Ah, but there was more...this was a subplot in a story that wove together friendship, covenant, worship, pubs, encouragement, creativity...and (of course) coffee & chocolate! 

The main plot?  I think it was supposed to be about training, but became more about creating community, worshipping God.  

Most of what I’ve written about the passport adventure took place in the nanoseconds between meetings, or during meetings, or just before crashing into bed after the 18hr day.  So here‘ s a few snapshots of what happened in those long days.  Starting with worship:

There is no worship like that with a roomful of artists.  Try it some time!  The roof usually comes off, along with the shoes.  Musicians jump on various instruments, dancers break out in interpretive worship dance, and there is likely a visual artist up front working on something.  There may be a dramatic reading or presentation, spoken word, or poetry.  Our technical arts whiz, if he’s around, puts up the most stunning graphics to move us along through the songs, or a video to transition us from one phase to the next.  It is a multi-sensory, multi-media extravaganza, rich and textured.    

Our SALT worship times were no exception: over-the-top music--including violins, guitar, piano, recorder, all manner of percussion instruments (at one point, a box was passed around and everyone invited to select one).   

One morning, with community as our theme, we created trinity motifs with ink while listening to Bach’s Mass in B Minor

The next, one of our leaders brought out children’s archeological kits, and set them up at various work stations, recreating the search for precious gems in our cultures.  Video prayer links played in the background, while we moved around prayer stations for each of the nations represented by our group.  We stood or moved from chairs to cushions, poring over prayer requests and info cards on each country.  

Our grand finale--after three days of listening to each other’s stories, challenges and victories, three days of hearts knitting together--followed a time of communion and commission, and was a veritable explosion.  Somewhere in those three days, community happened--a community of artists yearning for freedom of expression--and no one needed to ask permission anymore.  

No one needed to act like a politically correct Christian, whether charismatic or conservative.   Everyone could act like an artist.  The musicians rose, the dancers danced, and one brave visual artist went up front and painted.

At one point, someone threw a chain out in the middle of the room, imploring each one of us to leave any chains that still bound us behind, as the evening came to a close.  (Or tried to.)  A Scripture was read, and some came forward for prayer.  Others sat quietly and soaked it all in.  Some had only tears for offerings.  

When we ended two hours later (oddly enough, with a Christmas carol!), everyone stayed another hour, reluctant to leave.  I think I got a minimum of three hugs per person in the final farewells!  Our tanks were full.  

Isak Dinesen's words, from her short story, "Babette's Feast," come to mind: 

"Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me leave to do my utmost!"  

To see the artists worshipping that night was to hear that cry, and want to answer it.  

No comments:

Post a Comment