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://www.buildthatlist.com Tom

    What an amazing change you experienced! Isn't it funny that the smallest things can provide such pleasure. Today my wife and I went to a scan to see our baby for just the second time (as it is still inside my wife) and I just sat there and everything else disappeared as I look at our child's little hands opening and closing.
    My recent post Do I Need My Own Product Before I Start List Building?

  • http://www.leadershipfreak.wordpress.com Dan Rockwell

    Michael,

    Thanks for being open and honest. I hope its not perverse that hearing about another's journey encourages me in mine. Your post was a great way for me to start fresh today.

    Leadership Freak
    Dan Rockwell
    My recent post UNlearning

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

    Michael… I was sitting just behind you and I agree that this was a holy moment. When the room began to sing "Thy Word" together in harmony it was beautiful!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That was one of the best moments of the evening. I also loved Amy’s transparency. I can’t wait to see what Randy has in store for us today!

  • http://www.christianclothingblog.com Greg Ryan

    Part of the strength of the body of Christ over the enemy is the word of their testimony. (Revelation 12:11) We have built a company around it. What a powerful testimony for everyone to enjoy, I pray it changes lives. (Don't know how to use trackback but I will learn.)
    We are a peculiar people to revel in another's "bad day". I am thankful you follow God.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Adam_S Adam_S

    I would have loved to be there. I am coming to one of @recreate's conferences someday.
    My recent post Sex, Lies and Religion by Randy Elrod

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      It is worth it. This is my third year. I am always surprised.

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

    Years ago, my wife and I were having lunch in a restaurant in Daytona Beach. It had been a long morning. I had just ministered at a local church, and the afternoon before us was pleasant, promising. The work was over and I was anticipating a lovely day just my wife and I. A young man was playing violin in the restaurant. He was a Julliard student, mid to late twenties. He eventually came to our table and I requested a song. I couldn't remember the name of it, so I hummed a few bars. He picked up on it immediately and began to play. It was Beethoven's "Pathetique," a sad sweet melody. I'm good with words, and yet I cannot explain how he played. It was something untaught. I know that.

    Something began to convulse within me that I could not restrain. A deep resonance I had little defense against. Right there in the middle this sunbright restaurant I began to weep, and hard. It was ruthless and it was beautiful. But what made it more beautiful is that it could not be explained away. For me it was a matter of submission I think, to the moment, and to something perhaps unmet within me. I don't know. It doesn't happen often, and it actually shouldn't. I am just grateful to that parts of me can be meddled with so thoroughly and so deeply. Like a deep sifting.

    • http://gailbhyatt.wordpress.com/ Gail Hyatt

      Beautiful. Your words are deep sifting to me.
      My recent post A Mother’s Modus Operandi: “Bloom Where You Are Planted.”

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      What a beautiful comment, David. For what it is worth, the last time I felt the way I did last night was listening to you play the guitar and sing in my living room. You are a true artist, and a gift to those of us who know you.

  • http://www.moonboatcafe.com Cassandra Frear

    Beautiful moment. As I read, I felt like I was there, too.

    I think the beauty is God's way of saying, "Your story matters. I have put you here. All of this is not a coincidence. Can't you see it? And the ending is good, it's very good. Heaven is ahead. You can see bits of it now."

    But in ordinary lives, at this moment, we are still in the middle of the story. In the hard part, where the main character can't see how things will work out and whether or not he will ever reach his goals or ever become the person he hopes to become.

    We experience the grace and the beauty of God over the grid of time.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I love relating all this to Story. It is so true.

    • Luci Swindoll

      A wonderful Blog, Mike. I loved every word. Encountering beauty definitely changes our perspective, our concerns and our outlook. I'm talking about that very thing this week at "Recreate". And…I get to see you and Gail. That's the icing on the cake. Can't wait!

  • http://www.rainbows.typepad.com Thomas Lee

    The last time I had an encounter with Beauty was a few seconds ago. It was in reading this remarkable little essay. Yes, it restored my heart. Thank you.
    My recent post Onions for Toyota and the Chicago News Media

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words!

  • nicole

    I experienced something similar this weekend. I am a 30 yr old student who lost her job in October. I had 2 exams to study for and needed a break. The OKC Ballet was performing Giselle. Thankfully they have a student special. I was so moved! I got to see high art at a discounted price. Right when I needed it the most. You see, it had been a rough week. This little moment made it all worthwhile.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      It is amazing how great art crowds out all the trivial things we are experiencing and puts them into perspective. I am thankful to God, who is the true source of all beauty.

  • Anne Trudel

    Mike, thanks for this good reminder…and best wishes for renewal even as you lead at the Recreate Conference. It was nice to see you in person at Costco a couple of months ago. Will see you at the PCPA event in March, Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

    I love Amy Grant. She has such a beautiful voice and is REAL.
    Blessings,
    Anne Trudel
    Former managing editor for Janet Thoma

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I look forward to seeing you there, Anne. Thanks.

  • http://www.paulwallis.net Paul Anthony Wallis

    Hi Mike,

    You asked, “When was the last time you had an encounter with Beauty? Did it restore your heart?”

    I have had a few days recently in which I have have felt very burdened by concerns, anxieties and frustrations – cares on my own behalf and on behalf of others. At times my wife and I have had to draw from deep wells in order to keep a light spirit in our home. But God has blessed us with a beautiful little girl who, at 16 months, understands nothing of our anxieties and cares.

    The joy that my little girl finds simply in being alive, in being with her family, in using and developing all sorts of skills, simply shines through her innocent face. We hear that joy in her laughter, feel it in her hugs and watch it in her play.

    So when I feel I have allowed a worry get too close and weigh me down I have learned just to look at my beautiful daughter and allow myself to give in to her invitation to participate in the simple pleasures of being alive and being together. Like no other medicine I know that restores my heart!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I feel the same way about my grandchildren. Oh to be that young again.

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  • http://cherylbarker.blogspot.com/ Cheryl Barker

    What a loving Heavenly Father we have to minister to us in such tender ways. Thanks for sharing His touch with us…

  • http://pioneer.posterous.com Harold

    It's been too long. At odds with so many situations. When serendipity comes it feels like two shy people alone in a room with no ice breaking equipment. The clip and post brought me closer to the idea and that brings a little hope.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

    I remember the September of 2008. I had just started my first book, writing for an hour or two each morning. The book was flowing along well, but the rest of the world was crashing around me. I had huge state mandated deadlines at work, the stock market had dropped almost a thousand points in a day, the economy was unraveling, and we were facing a crucial presidential election.

    As the news came in, my days were fraught with worry. Was this the end of our country, I wondered? As the weeks went on things just seemed to get worse and worse. The Dow seemed to be the barometer, crashing lower and lower. One of our local banks was taken over, and then our bank was said to be in huge sub-prime trouble. The word depression was bandied about, and it certainly applied to my mood. I prayed for so many things as friends were losing houses, jobs, and careers. I couldn't shake the fear.

    But then something happened that was amazing. As I would write in the morning, God would take me on a journey, away from all the troubles around me. This fictional world I was writing about almost became real. The Island of the Blue Whale became a refuge, with a path full of adventure and new characters. Each step, each keystroke, took me further away from the real world. I could vividly see the island landscape and the rugged path to the foot of Black Mountain.

    There I stood looking up at a 100 foot cliff. It was impossible to climb. My mind raced for a solution. For the book to go on… I had to find a solution. The treasure map we had found led straight up the cliff. That day, an hour into my writing time, I faced a dilemma. That fictional cliff seemed impossible to climb and I searched the depth of my imagination from A to Z to find a plausible way up it. I knew if I gave up and retreated to the real world, my book would be dead. A crazy project down the drain.

    I pressed on in my imagination, trying to climb that crazy cliff. I made it a few feet, and then fell to earth. My companions told me to give up… to quit. I kept trying, but I fell again. My wife in the story came and put her hand on my shoulder and whispered… let's go… don't make a fool of yourself. Now it was just me and that stupid cliff. I started to pray… in the story and in real life. God.. I need a solution… God, I need a way up this impossible cliff.

    As I raised my head, I could suddenly see it… the solution was there all the time. I ran back to the cliff and took one step up, and then two. Each step a little closer to the top. That day I climbed that rock strewn cliff. That day I came back to reality and realized that God is in control. That was the day that I knew that the cliffs in my real world would be overcome by persistence and prayer. God is faithful.

    Just never give up!
    My recent post The Inclusive Checklist

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I always feel like your comments are a blog post unto themselves. I am amazed that you take this much time to write such thoughtful and powerful comments. I am grateful, John.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

        Having Intense Debate on your blog really helps stimulate the conversation. It's threaded comments are a big help as you follow the storyline. With great contributors like Flowerdust, Lindsey Nobles, Mike Holmes, and Ron Lane, (to name a few) this is a great place to start the morning. Thanks for putting so much time and effort to make this one of the top blogs on the internet.
        My recent post The Inclusive Checklist

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, John. I agree with your comment about threaded comments. It makes it so much easier to participate.

  • http://www.yuzzi.com Rick Yuzzi

    What a great experience. Amy Grant unplugged–I'm sure singing about Jesus–followed by a snowfall. There is something about snow that covers up the ugly in the day. Everything is white. Noises are muffled. The world is softer. That sounds like an answered prayer for a very bad day.
    My recent post Tebow’s Super Bowl ad not Super

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That's exactly it. It covers everything up like a blanket. I love the stillness. Whenever it starts to snow, my first emotion is hope—or anticipation. (I know, I'd probably feel differently if I lived in Alaska like my brother!)

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

    Simply beautiful. If we can only stay open to such experiences God will place them in our life just when we need it. We need to be willing though to see it with our spirit, like you did, are we miss the gift.

  • http://twitter.com/emuelle1 @emuelle1

    I'm in a career slump right now. It's been tough to deal with. I was removed from a position where I was busy and productive and it seems like I've been left to rot in a cubicle. It's a long story. It's forced me to take a look at my life. One change I've made during this time is to cut down on the number of podcasts I listen to and spend some time each day listening to music.

    There are days when the music can be very moving. Yesterday I was listening to music on my iPhone when Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Anno Domine" came on. Wow, talk about powerful. I listened to it three times. It really lifted my spirits.
    My recent post Marketing Annoyances

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JenniferLKing JenniferLKing

    Thank you, Michael, for this post. It speaks louder than words, and resonates in a wonderful way. Truly the power of beauty is divine, and deeply healing.

    The last time I had a moving encounter with beauty? The fairy dust snow shimmering across the plateau above Prague in yesterday's sunlight. The soul-leaping experience of standing atop the Alps for the first time, with my family. The resonant sounds of an incredible impromptu jazz performance last weekend…

    Beauty speaks to me, as with a megaphone. I know when I am able to filter beauty from the everyday drone that dulls our nerves and sinks our hearts, my life becomes richer. That healing, that beauty, that art– that is what moves me deeply.

    Thank you for sharing your transforming experience. You've helped many of us to rediscover the deep need for beauty and art and the combination of the two.
    My recent post The Bright Side of the Road

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Just reading your comment made me tear up. Sometimes beauty seems so, well, extravagant. Like we really don't need it or can afford it. I think we were built for it, and our lives are not complete if we don't occasionally experience it.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/JenniferLKing JenniferLKing

        Wow– thank you. I agree with you, that we were created for a need to experience beauty. Since it usually is fleeting, we have all the more reason to be present and aware and catch the beauty as it is there, a gift in the present from the Creator of today. It's hidden in plain sight everywhere.

        Somehow, art and beauty could be connected to your upcoming book on Wow– I think when we experience something like you felt in Amy Grant's audience, we can't help but whisper, "Wow."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SwitchingGranny SwitchingGranny

    Beautiful example of the Lover of our Soul ministering some of that love to you! Thank you for sharing

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/MichaelSGray MichaelSGray

    How interesting that God uses things we don't feel like doing to show us His art. If you had jumped into your pajamas like you wanted to, you might have missed this great experience. It makes me wonder how many times, being controlled by my own self-pity, I have unknowingly skipped out on an opportunity for God to speak to me — or more importantly — through me.
    My recent post The Butterfly Circus

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      The older I get, the more I go with the flow. God is like a spiritual tour guide, not only planning the route but providing a running commentary—if we but listen.

  • Forrest Long

    It’s amazing the gifts God gives us right when we need them. They are unexpected blessings that can transform our perspective and brighten our day. God is good!

  • http://www.dewaynehamby.com DeWayne Hamby

    Thanks for sharing this story, Mike. I’m sure many, like myself, can identify with those anxieties and how wonderful it feels when they are lifted. I’m glad I grew up with the music of Amy and other artists like her.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Me, too, DeWayne. I had really lost touch with Amy. The first time I heard her was 1982. I was a young acquisitions editor for Word Books. My boss sent me to Indianapolis to attend her concert and meet with her about a book. The book never happened but I loved her music and, most of all, her heart. She has only gotten better with age.

  • http://www.patriciaraybon.com Patricia Raybon

    Beautiful post. Sunday after Sunday, I feel God's beauty in my Black church in Denver. Gospel music sung by people who maybe shouldn't be singing — because they're lives are hard — brings me to tears. Then in my work life, I'm collaborating with calligrapher Timothy Botts on a tribute to African American spirituals, opening in March at the Billy Graham Center Museum. Tim and I aren't "important" or "famous" — on a level with Amy Grant. But Tim's gorgeous art, the spirituals' lyrics and God's power in all of it has become transcendent. Bless your Name, O God, for sharing such artistry with mortals!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      There is something sacred but all art, when it is offered from the heart. Where 10 people show up or 10,000, all art points to the One who created beauty.

  • Joanne Miller

    I have been rereading Ken Gire's Windows of the Soul………..one of my yearly gifts to myself. What you have described is God opening a Window to your soul and it is a thing of beauty. In this world of "busyness" we often overlook opportunities to see God open a window to the beauty around us. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    First, my sympathy on the loss of your friend–nothing separates us from God's absolute love, nothing! Second, although I don't live in a major cultural center, the beauty of art surrounds me in my high school. I don't know why, but our students seem to flourish in visual arts (which are always displayed i n our halls) and music. In the midst of the most challenging days, I can stop at the displays and enjoy a moment of beauty.

    Just a thought–when you feel really discouraged, look upward and see God cheering you on. His purpose is good in our lives, and He is a strong help to us in our difficulties.

    My recent post #29 BECOMING A SON OF GOD: THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (1)

  • http://www.JanetOber.com Janet Oberholtzer

    Beautiful post!
    Beauty does restore my soul. Sometimes I plan for it … time alone out in nature – other times it happens in an unexpected moment … either way gives me hope in the midst of this messy world.

    I like beauty in nature, music, stories, etc. I also tear up when I see people finish races … just grimy old road races … the beauty of seeing someone train their body to be capable of running x amount of miles is beauty to me.
    My recent post Patience = Serenity

  • http://spudlets.wordpress.com Marc Velazquez

    I know about the tears – sometimes I think I’m getting soft in my old age, but I least I’m still feeling something!

    I hope this does not sound too silly, but my last memorable encounter with Beauty was a short from the animated movie “Up”, “Dug’s Special Mission”. While the movie itself is a treasure, particularly the first ten minutes, the short clip on Dug is one of the best modern parables of salvation I know of. If anyone has not seen the movie or the two shorts (the other short is about clouds), grab a copy and enjoy. It’s appropriate for all ages.
    [I have not been compensated for this comment.]

    • Michael Gray

      I love the disclaimer at the end. LOL!

      "UP" is one of my favorite animated movies, and we watch it often (with my young son, of course). I have never even heard about the short film you mentioned, but I'm going to watch it when I get home tonight. Those Pixar guys are master storytellers.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I have got to see “Up.” Gail saw it without me. I am trying not to be bitter. ;-)

      Seriously, I love animated movies, especially Pixar.

  • http://www.lauraclick.com Laura Click

    Great post! Ironically, last night's snow had a similar effect on me. It started snowing in the middle of my run last night and it was so beautiful. It was if the world slowed down for a bit. Everything was peaceful and still. It really energized me and it even prompted a blog post. It is amazing how we often seen the beauty of creation in the smallest things.

    I hope today is much better than yesterday!
    My recent post Five Ways to Overcome Obstacles – Lessons from Half Marathon Training

  • http://rachaelsway00.blogspot.com Nikki

    My mom just retired had no idea what to do with her life so she decided to paint. She is a wonderful God fearing woman and the works of art this women has put out is truely God blessed. Last year she was diagnoised with stage3 breast cancer and on top of that she had infammatory breast cancer. We all were stunned she is only 63 yo. So during htat year she kept painting and to see how he has healed her through this gift is so amazing. Thank you Michael for posting this reminding us to see The Beauty in His heART.

  • Kathleen Overby

    This is presumptuous – a peak at your soft underbelly created an intimate post – letting us all hold hands gently in a circle. All of us, followers. [ respectful curtsy]

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

    Like most humans, life can really close in and stifle me sometimes. This impacts my writing and I have to do something to break free. For me, it's escaping to the mountains and rivers in central Idaho near my home. There, I can see what God created virtually untouched by man. And if I catch a trout in the process … just added blessings.
    My recent post Human Trafficking

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Ah, yes, this is the ultimate art by the ultimate Artist.

  • Dan Meub

    Wonderful message Mike. Somehow we must continue to move ahead even during times when our setbacks, worries, and fears fight to shut us down. For the last 20 years, I've committed to small music groups, church choir, season ticket holders to the local symphony, … I go even when I feel beat up. Last Sunday was one of those times. We sang parts of Durufle's Requiem and it brought me to tears. I hadn't wanted to go that morning. I was burned out. It clearly wasn't necessary so I thought. Obviously, I was very wrong. If we don't let ourselves shut down, our Father will open us back up.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for this story, Dan. I should have known you would get this. You are such an artist. I love how you use both sides of your brain so well.

  • http://www.thanhdlu.com Thanh

    Thank you for sharing your extraordinary strength in this post. It is something that I have learned through my own setbacks: you have to keep moving forward, and if you don't have the strength, just showing up and being in the company of good people makes a huge difference. The world is so opened today that there is always a friendly face to restore your spirit.

  • Speckle

    Opps! Had a little trouble with the link to the Beauty blog…here it is http://insidethechrysalis.blogspot.com/2009/11/be

  • http://www.bee-magic.com BarbaraL

    I'm a beekeeper and I found dead frozen bees in the snow. I warmed them up in my hands and they came back to life. What was beautiful was that while holding them and they came awake they went to each other and helped to groom each other, touching tongues and antennae. They were greeting each other and making sure everyone was okay. It was a little reveal on the private life of bees and how they all care for each other. Simple insects.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/KarlaAkins KarlaAkins

    You wear pajamas? :-)

    Whenever I read all the cool things you get to do in Nashville, I have to work on not being jealous. Rural Indiana doesn't offer such cool things.

    As a musician, I could totally relate to this article. It reminds me of the Psalms and how David's music was used by God to calm Saul.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Regarding pajamas … I know. It's embarrassing.

  • darrell a. harris

    A couple times today.
    And yes . . . it always does~
    dh

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Kevin_Martineau Kevin_Martineau

    When I was on Catalina Island in January. The scenery and view there were breathtaking. It left me in awe of my awesome creative and artistic God!

  • http://spirittosoul.blogspot.com bluegoose

    I am always amazed at the way God moves when we least expect it…or even think we want it. Reading your post brought tears to my eyes, thank you for always pointing to Him!
    My recent post A blog of randomness!

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

    Mike~ I really enjoyed this post, and truly relate to the healing power of art. I was touched by the candid account of your feelings and experience at the dinner/concert…

    I remember when I left nursing years ago, burned out after years in hospitals. I was discouraged and disillusioned with the Western notion of healing. I found little healing in the sterile environment and guise of professionalism, not to mention precious little time with my patients. While colleagues poured over medicines and charts, I'd find myself dreaming about the healing power of music and sound, touch and beauty, and wished I were using these gifts to heal my patients. My belief in the therapeutic value of the arts sent me back to school at age 30 to study music formally. Music and the arts fed my soul and changed my life.__

    Now six years after a life-changing accident and long uphill climb of rehab, I can personally validate the power of art and beauty to heal and restore. God's daily gifts through nature, art, and loving realtionships, now shape the creative work I do. It keeps wonder alive in my life! Thank you for this delightful story.__Barbara

  • http://www.sonomacountychristianwomen.com Dana Bryant

    Thank you Michael. I needed that. I have been feeling a deep need to take a long walk and just talk to God. I go a hundred miles and hour with three kids, full time job, honey out of town for months and a book in the works. I feel a need to check out the creation around me. I am simply going to make the time this weekend. I must to restore.

  • Angela M Bryant

    The past two days on this island where we live I've experienced unexpected beauty and heart restoration from the Original Artist: pineapple express weather, quiet days except for a few birds, and a good friend who dropped by to enjoy February tea on our patio overlooking the water. Thank you for your post that inspired me to look closely at the day and be grateful.
    My recent post How uniformity, efficiency and tidiness can stifle

  • Karen Grosse

    Mike,
    I fully understand how you felt. Sometimes the biggest blessings come at the most unexpected time, and just when we need to feel the hand of God on us.
    Amy Grant also did a small concert like this at Munce CPE a while back, and it brought back the joy of CBA experiences from 25 – 30 years ago.
    No glaring, flashing lights, huge sound systems, special effects, just us and Amy and God. Maybe it shows again how we should all be looking at getting back to the basics – in our stores, in our music, in our authors and in our publishing.
    I'm glad God refreshed you and gave you this great experience. Thanks for sharing it with those who read this.

  • Geoff Webb

    I loved this post. As I'm reading it, the snow is falling here in NYC.

    The last time I encountered beauty on this scale was actually just last weekend. After church I got to hold my best friend's new baby – she was just a few hours old. I don't get that chance too often, but it always floors me. The little features. The innocence. The fragility. The gift. The potential. And, yes, the beauty.

    It reminds me how precious we all are…and how incredibly gracious our God is.

    My recent post How to Attract Great Followers

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

    I'm privileged to see the healing power of art every day as I walk into work. My organization works with the serious and persistently mentally ill and on top of that we work specifically with those on state healthcare or with no insurance at all, said another way they are all living in or near poverty situations. Their artwork covers our office and clinic walls and is a daily reminder to me that all God’s children have something beautiful to offer.

  • http://mvmaithai.blogspot.com/ mvmaithai

    What a great read! Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience. Franklin sounds beautiful in the snow. It's on my list of places to visit when I return to Chattanooga in the summer.
    Music has always lifted me up when I am down.
    My recent post Top 5 things to do in Miami

  • http://www.janegmeyer.com jane g meyer

    lovely post…

  • Christianne

    Thank you, Michael, for sharing this. It made me tear up just to read it! I felt like I was experiencing the things you were describing in some way through this post, and the feelings that rose up felt significant. I'm so glad God met you in the healing power of music and stillness and the quiet, unexpected beauty of snow.

    The last time I responded this way to beauty was in worship last Sunday. It seems I can't help crying in worship these days … and it really is because I encounter the breathtaking beauty of Jesus there. He brings me to tears, he is so beautiful.

  • 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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