Monday, September 2, 2013
Scribbling in the Sand
My Thoughts: What a wonderful book!
Scribbling in the Sand is meant as a book to induce thought, not necessarily as a way to encourage creativity. Card spends the first part of the book describing Biblical instances of creativity (Adam naming the animals, Jesus' creativity in his ministry, the prophets and poetry...), which I really enjoyed. He then described several traits that any Christian artist should have. This section challenged me a lot and made me think about so many things, because these traits were exactly the traits that any Christian should have: humility, servanthood, obedience, love. The fact of being an artist is not the thing that defines any Christian artist; rather, their identity as a child of God and everything that implies (humility, etc.) is what defines any Christian artist. The 'Christian' is the important part, not the 'artist.'
The other of Card's points that really, really struck me was that any art that we create, however good or bad, however many people do or don't see/read/hear it, is worship. Art, in its purest form, is a form of worship of God. Why else would we use music in worship services? Why else would the psalmists and prophets speak in poetry (and probably accompanied by music)?
As an artist (I write), I enjoyed and struggled with this book. I have always struggled with finding a proper balance between my writing and God; it is so easy for me to fantasize uncontrollably about my stories and forget the God who is the ultimate Creator and Author (I've written a lot about it on my blog A Light to My Path, especially this post from a little more than a year ago). And so I immensely enjoyed and was challenged by Scribbling in the Sand: it painted a picture of what my writing could be while highlighting all the places I've fallen short. It gave me hope.
Perhaps the section that I most enjoyed was the last one, where Card included letters from various famous Christian artists about their views of art and artists in relation to Christ and His mission. I loved their advice and wisdom.
Incredibly highly recommended to anyone who sees themselves as a Christian artist of any kind--and perhaps even to those Christians who don't see themselves that way, because Scribbling in the Sand was so much more about Christianity than it was about creativity. That was rather the point of the book--our Christianity is so much more important than our creativity, even if the two are intertwined.