The Healing Power of Art

Yesterday was hard. A business deal stalled. I didn’t make much progress on several key projects. I was discouraged. And toward the end of the day, I learned that a friend had died. I just wanted to go home, put on my pajamas, and go to bed.

Someone Playing the Guitar - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/damircudic, Image #1116206

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/damircudic

But I had signed up to attend the Recreate Conference. (What was I thinking?) Last night was the opening night. It was to begin with a mixer, then dinner, and finally a concert. As an introvert, this is not what I enjoy. It takes lot of energy to jump into the midst of a crowded room and be … well … pleasant.

Fortunately, I managed to miss most of the mixer. When Gail and I arrived, we found a few of our close friends and hid in the shadow of their company. Unexpectedly, I had a very pleasant dinner conversation with a few Twitter acquaintances. I began to sense that my mood was shifting. I stopped brooding over my own problems and became immersed in the conversation.

Finally, Amy Grant took the stage. There she was in Puckett’s Grocery in downtown Franklin, Tennessee, a few blocks from my house. Only about 115 of us were in the room. Amy sang with a small band. Acoustic guitar. Informal and without pretense. Just her and her art. A gift. Unexpected. And deeply moving.

I was completely swept up in the moment. I forgot about the day. I stopped worrying about the future. For a few precious hours, I was lost in her music. Overwhelmed by the beauty and the wonder of God’s goodness in giving me this unexpected gift, I teared up several times. This always happen to me in the presence of beauty. It is a clue. Suddenly, things come back into focus.

Meanwhile, as we sat in the restaurant, it had begun to snow outside. This, too, was unexpected—and beautiful. By the time we left, a couple of inches had accumulated.

Gail and I walked home in the quietness of the snow-covered lawns and streets. I could hardly speak. The day that had seemed so hard and so present just a few hours before had vanished. I had been healed and restored by an encounter with an artist and her art—and serendipitously, the Artist and His art. My heart was full, once again surprised by unexpected beauty.

Question: When was the last time you had an encounter with Beauty? Did it restore your heart?

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