I am not an artist. Struggle as I may, the arts seem to avoid me like the plague.  Perhaps there is a latent talent buried deep within, but so far it lies camouflaged from my consciousness.  On the other hand, I do perceive the value of the arts, and like many, I have my preferences as to the particular genre.  I have come to realize that in any form, the arts project something; realism or a fantasy, but also a tendency to proclaim alternate realities, either as statements against the status quo or as an alternative utopian vision.

 To me, there has always been a portion of the arts that suggests a truth that is not always welcome in society.  The artist can often cut through both the politics and the power to show forth the corrupt aspects of a society and, in overt or hidden ways, call to task the error of its ways.

 As one of my chosen art forms, I often listen to music with the aid of headphones.  Serenading my being, I can hear the plea of those who rail against societal injustices or the proclivities of a ruling party.  Whether Folk, Rock or any other medium of song, there are numerous examples of protest.  At times, songs and their lyrics have been applied to situations that were not necessarily intended by the artist, yet nonetheless utter a truth that is desperately needed.  

 I often wonder whether Jesus was an artist, and what was his chosen art form … that of an orator?  We call him many things, but rarely an artist with a particular genre.  He had much to say through the canvas of his words, and he influenced many by his works of tongue.  He railed against society’s norms and sang of an alternate way of being — physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  Sometimes, his words were misconstrued and applied where there was never intent, yet still his truth shines forth. It is the wonder of Jesus and the genre with which that he paints that continues to move us all!

 

-NJP