You know how there are those moments when you wish that you could simply stop the hands on the clock and soak in the radiant beauty being revealed to you at the time? When you wish that the ever-transient hands of the clock would freeze and allow you to be shrouded in an ocean of this alive-ness? That you could dive headfirst into it, and remain there, suspended by whatever feeling is penetrating your flesh all the way to your core?
Like a live jazz show,
a strong poem,
a painting that puts you somewhere else.
I can’t even put it into words, but I call it a “period of passion.” Moment of life. Sudden joy.
I just finished spending half an hour in silence, meditating on God and His Word. Then I turned on some John Mayer Trio–the live album, Try!–put some gum in my mouth, and picked up Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz. My dorm room developed a pulse and came to life.
My teeth chewed, and then chewed harder. Faster. No matter how hard I chewed, I could not satisfy this insatiable hunger for passion that God sparked inside me. I don’t know if it’s the culmination of the past few weeks, climaxing in my half hour of silence, alone with the Lord, or if it is more temporal than that.
There are these moments in life when the setting seems to sink deeper than the flesh in which we have our bodies wrapped up. There are times you wish your fingers could grasp onto it. Onto that moment; that deep-seated emotion in which you live, and you are living, and never let it go.
It’s fresh. It’s alive.
It’s music. It’s poetry.
John 4:24 says that worshippers will worship in both spirit and truth. I love the beauty in this concept, because that gives us so much freedom in our worship and our affections. I used to wonder why God chose music to be one of the primary vessels through which we worship and experience Him. I think this summer, I figured it out. In music, spirit and truth collide. There is truth in music. And there is passion (spirit) in music. To neglect either spirit or truth in our worship of the Creator is to miss the point (Or completely point ourselves in the wrong direction!).
The coolest thing about the Spirit of God is that He brings these things. He brings about passion and desire and beauty. I feel like part of the reason our world, and even Christians, are passive to engage with the Lord is because they see it as boring. In reality, God’s presence brings creativity! In fact, the first person to be filled with the Holy Spirit was the artist who designed God’s tabernacle (Exodus 31:1).
When we experience things like music, art, or prose, and are taken to a different place by it, I believe we are getting a taste of eternity. We are experiencing God’s kingdom moving into earth via creativity. Yes, it advances when we feed the poor, clothe the cold, and visit the lonely. But it also moves in artistry and innovation.
This is why music can awaken our souls and a good book can rejuvenate our spirits.
God’s Spirit moves through beauty.
After all, God was the first artist ever.