In conversation a few weeks ago with my mentor, he encouraged me to write a manifesto for my art. I was at my wits end, frustrated, and trying to figure out what I am doing. I think grad school will do that do someone. It is really hard. I won't pretend that it isn't. However, it is good and necessary to experience in order that one might truly own his work. I have learned that my work can no longer be about what someone has told me to make it about or even what I think it should be. No, it has to be what One greater than me has commanded it to be.
My second semester of graduate school has been a challenge to figure out that goal. All I could figure out is that I wanted to tell a story... What story? I had an idea. "I love to tell the story of unseen things above of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and His love. I love to tell the story because I know tis true. It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do." That's the story I wanted to tell and that's the story that I wanted to sing everyday.
PROBLEM! Not everyone can relate to that story the way I know it and not everyone cares about Jesus the way I do. HOWEVER, there is something that we all have in common and that is that we are all human. WOW. Yep. We are. Flawed and sinful to the core. I know I am anyway. I need saving. No matter how hard I try, I can't fix or save myself at all. I must surrender and die to myself daily. So I have a story - MY story. It tells the story of Jesus and how He loved and saved me. Doesn't everyone want to be saved by something? Doesn't everyone want to be loved? Can't I show human's desire to be safe and loved? Yes, I can. That is what I will strive to do. It won't have a cross stamped on it, but it will seek to share the story of His truth and love that is unchanging and eternal.
In reading a book that was recommended to me by none other than my mentor again, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning, I came across a paragraph that screamed out to me, step it up a notch, Paige!!!!!!!! You're on a mission!
Christian art should grow out of the robust confidence that nothing is unredeemable - that Jesus himself entered into the darkest levels of human experience and transformed them into sources of life and renewal. A full-orbed work of Christian art should include all three elements of the biblical worldview: creation, fall, redemption. It should allude to the beauty and dignity of the original creation. But it should also be transparently honest about the reality of sin and suffering. Finally, it should always give hints of redemption. No matter how degraded or corrupt a character may be, he or she should be portrayed with the dignity of being redeemable. Some ray of hope should penetrate the darkness....
I seek to...
.....create humane and healthy alternatives that speak deeply to the human condition.
Each and every one of us have a purpose in life. We are created which means we have a Creator with a purpose. I pray that I strive to live out that purpose everyday. I have to tell my story. It is the only one I have and because I am the only Paige there is, it will be told through a new lens - my lens.
"I love to tell the Story, 'twill be my theme in glory. To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love."