They showed me who they were.
Imagine holding up your secrets for everyone to see. Or maybe your quiet thoughts from just-before-sleeping or from driving down the road by yourself. Or from a longer-than-usual and hotter-than-usual shower that you really needed for your body and mind to settle down a bit.
Imagine taking all of those things and packing them into your car for a room-full of strangers.
But, then, here’s the crazy thing: Imagine wanting to do this. Imagine this being a dream come true.
We loaded in and set up for a beautiful fundraiser—an opportunity to support the changing of lives in corners of the world I can’t reach with my own two hands. But I carried in what I had. I carefully set it out, heart pounding over what they would think and what they would say. Or if they would care at all. I saw a few familiar faces and heard “oh I know your mama and daddy.” But most didn’t have expectations of me at all.
I invited them into the art gallery, explaining that this was a chance for them to “listen” to what the art was saying—engage with art as they would engage with the music and lyrics they’d just heard. Let it speak to them. Let it draw truth out of them.
That’s the “why” of my art. To share truth. To share the world as I see it and as I so desperately want to see it. Art is a conversation, both between me & God and between me and those viewing.
The response was beyond what I anticipated. Story after story. Question after question: tell me about this piece, what were you thinking, what does this mean.
And I told them. And then they told me. I heard stories of homes destroyed. Marriages destroyed. Lives destroyed. I didn’t say it, but I knew the truth of my art—a dance of joy and sorrow, pain and contentment. They answered my questions with questions of their own. They responded to my whispered confessions with tears and stories and memories. And hope and healing.
And I was changed because they showed me who they were.