Greetings from Dallas, where it is 75 degrees and the blossoms are bursting out of their buds with enthusiasm. We made it through the winter.The cold, dark days are brightening and Creation gently reminds us of our hope; that our Creator is "making all things new."
I spent the end of last week in Nashville with the rest of the Art House America board for our annual Meeting. We sat comfortably around the table at the Art House, enjoying Andi's homemade granola and thanking God for the good work He has carried out over the last year in Nashville, Dallas and beyond. As we planned for the future of Art House, Japanese citizens watched their plans for their future crushed by the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Like so many of you, the images flashing across the television make us feel small and powerless to help. I am so thankful that we serve a God who has given us imagination and creativity to carry out His renewing work and that we do not have to standby paralyzed with discouragement at the broken world we live in.
The power of creativity is never so important or relevant as in times of tragedy. So often we relegate the idea of creativity to that of paint on a canvas or lyrics in a song. Yet, what is more creative than what the 50 Japanese workers are were trying to accomplish inside the nuclear plants to come up with innovative strategy to stop toxic radiation. We honor these men and women whose sacrificial offering of creativity goes so far as to give their own lives to save the health of their fellow citizens. Many of us will never be called to offer that kind of creativity, but we ARE called to use the gifts God has given us to inspire the world with hope. Whatever our gifts may be, we have an amazing opportunity to keep telling the stories of how our Creator is at work in our lives, making all things new.
One of America's best singer/songwriter's, Emmylou Harris, wrote that "the darkest hour is just before dawn." During this time of tragedy, lyrics like these remind us of the unique power music has to speak truth and hope to a watching world. Last month, Charlie spent the day with 60 musicians in Dallas to encourage songwriters to write music which tells good stories of God at work. I hope that you will check out the Song Project video (http://vimeo.com/20619966) to be encouraged by how God is working in the hearts of songwriters in Dallas and beyond. Our greater hope is that through the Song Project and other Art House America events, we will be a creative community writing stories and songs like Emmylou which give hope to our souls.
Keep up the good work of creating and telling good stories with your life. Our world needs it now more than ever.
Grateful to be on this journey with you!