A few months back this statement appeared in my twitter feed: “If it’s not measurable it’s not operational, if it’s not operational is it valuable?”
I have tremendous respect for the person who posted this. He leads an international ministry with amazing reach, scope and vision, but I was immediately struck with how much the statement bothered me. And I just had to say something in response…
I probably crafted and re-crafted 2 dozen 144 character or less responses, but ultimately just responded, “Yes.”
The response I received: “ahhh, the artists… as Brueggemann would say, ‘finally comes the poet…’
The conversation ended with this tweet, from me: “I’d say that’s what the artist has to teach us all… That which is most valuable is sometimes the hardest to measure.”
I think it’s easy to look out and survey the world we live in and know we are in a critical time. It seems to me that there is so much at stake for us today. And at the top of that list is our humanity.
We are human, created in the image of God. Just sit with that statement for a moment. Strip it of its familiarity and let it’s power touch you. God, perplexing in His beauty and mystery and strength and creative capacity, made us…like Him.
And it’s that very created-ness, the very nature of God within me that is at stake today.
How? There are dozens of answers to this question, but maybe that’s your question to answer for yourself.
We are human, made in God’s image.
How do I measure that? I can’t.
And this is why I need art. It re-humanizes me. It reminds me that beauty is vital to my thriving. It whispers to me that I cannot escape tragedy. It illuminates the messiness, the inefficiency of being alive. Time and time again, it reminds me that Christ, that the life He has extended me is a profound gift, beyond measurement.
“The place where art and faith meet is fertile ground… Faith and imagination reach out to explore the mysteries of heaven and earth and then return to the community with the symbols and stories that help us know who we are…art, in itself cannot save a single soul, much less a nation, but in this postmodern era, when reason has become suspect, the imagination helps us to see and speak the truth. It reminds us that we are on “the long days’s journey of the Saturday,” that Good Friday is behind us and Easter Sunday before.” Beauty Will Save the World – Gregory Wolfe