The Healing Power of Art

Yesterday was hard. A business deal stalled. I didn’t make much progress on several key projects. I was discouraged. And toward the end of the day, I learned that a friend had died. I just wanted to go home, put on my pajamas, and go to bed.

Someone Playing the Guitar - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/damircudic, Image #1116206

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/damircudic

But I had signed up to attend the Recreate Conference. (What was I thinking?) Last night was the opening night. It was to begin with a mixer, then dinner, and finally a concert. As an introvert, this is not what I enjoy. It takes lot of energy to jump into the midst of a crowded room and be … well … pleasant.

Fortunately, I managed to miss most of the mixer. When Gail and I arrived, we found a few of our close friends and hid in the shadow of their company. Unexpectedly, I had a very pleasant dinner conversation with a few Twitter acquaintances. I began to sense that my mood was shifting. I stopped brooding over my own problems and became immersed in the conversation.

Finally, Amy Grant took the stage. There she was in Puckett’s Grocery in downtown Franklin, Tennessee, a few blocks from my house. Only about 115 of us were in the room. Amy sang with a small band. Acoustic guitar. Informal and without pretense. Just her and her art. A gift. Unexpected. And deeply moving.

I was completely swept up in the moment. I forgot about the day. I stopped worrying about the future. For a few precious hours, I was lost in her music. Overwhelmed by the beauty and the wonder of God’s goodness in giving me this unexpected gift, I teared up several times. This always happen to me in the presence of beauty. It is a clue. Suddenly, things come back into focus.

Meanwhile, as we sat in the restaurant, it had begun to snow outside. This, too, was unexpected—and beautiful. By the time we left, a couple of inches had accumulated.

Gail and I walked home in the quietness of the snow-covered lawns and streets. I could hardly speak. The day that had seemed so hard and so present just a few hours before had vanished. I had been healed and restored by an encounter with an artist and her art—and serendipitously, the Artist and His art. My heart was full, once again surprised by unexpected beauty.

Question: When was the last time you had an encounter with Beauty? Did it restore your heart?
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  • http://twitter.com/ReachingWomen @ReachingWomen

    Beautiful.

  • http://sarahsandifer.blogspot.com/ Sarah Sandifer

    There is something holy and signifiant in watching someone do what they were created to do. It is a beautiful experience to witness. Whether they are aware of the worship within the moment or not, or aware that they are shouting of God's creativity in their gifting or not, I love seeing it. Times when I've been able to see Cirque Du Soleil and watch the gracefulness with which those artists move their body or listening to a friend sing on stage at an open mic night speak of beauty. For me though, what shouts beauty to me is nature. It shouts of the Creator, and I am awestruck when standing in the midst of the glorious Colorado Rocky Mountains.
    My recent post The Power of Half

  • http://restaurantswellsme.com restaurant wells me

    If you are depress because of so many reason then you need some space and joining recreate conference would help a lot..Because of this you will enjoy and you will forget all your problems,..And prior to this we need to socialize for us to enjoy…Hmmm my answer with the question is this….I encounter with beauty everyday..
    My recent post Varano’s Italian Restaurant

  • http://www.gracefox.com Grace Fox

    I experienced a similar healing moment about 1 1/2 years ago. I'd had a lousy week beginning with my car's demise on Monday. I injured my knee big-time on Tuesday. On Wednesday, two upcoming speaking engagements were canceled (I was counting on these to help cover costs to replace my car). My outlook toward life and the Lord was less than pretty as evening approached.

    A couple of weeks prior, I'd purchased tickets for a Brian Doerksen concert to be held that night. I didn't feel much like leaving my house, but I limped to the church because my soul longed for refreshment. Hearing Brian sing "Come, Now is the Time to Worship" transformed my outlook. I left the concert with my confidence in God's goodness and sovereignty restored.
    My recent post A Newborn, a Panicked Mother, and the Fear of Rejection – 2/2

  • http://twitter.com/Jim_Gray @Jim_Gray

    I find that art is healing. For me that is music, reading/writing, and what I call randomating…where I will create something with wood,paper, or whatever i have in my office, workshop or even in my car. it teaches me quiet and focus. i spend so much time absorbed in viral/marketing stuff that it exhausts me.
    My recent post The Client is Always Right

  • Joe Abraham

    Thanks for the post, Michael. It was real good – realistic, amazing and true. God has His own smart ways of healing and encouraging us! Keep posting such great life stories. It helps many!

  • http://twitter.com/InverseDream Meg Davis

    Happy.

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