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Stories From The Studio: Stepping into Heaven, Creating on Earth by Gabrielle Dearman

 During Monday night’s River Oaks Artist Group meeting, we started our study on Luci Shaw’s book, Breath For The Bones. Our discussion mainly centered on the challenge of living and creating on earth while being aware of the presence of God and how to bring that into our creativity and life. Matt Tommey read an excerpt from the book that started fruitful conversation and sharing:

      “Sometimes I have seen myself as an amphibian, like a frog, created for two elements. I dive beneath the lake’s surface, my earthly home, so that my skin doesn’t dry out and wither, but I need oxygen for my lungs and have to emerge from below the surface to breathe. I discover that I am made for both earth and heaven.”

Luci Shaw goes on to say a couple of paragraphs later,

     “Not only are we responsible as artists somehow to demonstrate that it is possible to bring heaven to earth by living the life of grace in an ungraceful place, by gluing together the seen and the unseen, but we are required to be links with the unlinkable, with otherwise disparate entities.”

After a few of us shared our thoughts and experiences with the challenge of bringing heaven to earth in our art, the words, “awareness” and “awakened” were highlighted, and we spent the next several minutes pondering how awareness is key, and when we are awakened to the spiritual realm, we are able to lay that grid on top of earth and bring the two together. Matt said with happy confidence, “we must make a choice to see.” We have to tune our spirits to what the Holy Spirit wants to show us, and then we can intentionally communicate that connection through our art.

Interestingly, earlier during our worship time, a few of us had specific examples of how we found ourselves hearing and seeing into heaven and bringing that down to earth as we worshipped. Gilbert Pride found himself clapping in a specific rhythm that he tuned into with the Holy Spirit. I discovered something strange but inspiring as I looked up to fix my gaze onto the Lord in a physical posture… I suddenly became aware of the connections between the pipes and lights on the ceiling and how that mirrors what it is like to be in community with other Kingdom-minded people and the Lord Himself.I grabbed my camera and ramped up the brightness settings to emphasize the brightness of the Kingdom, and as I moved around the room shooting picture after picture of those connections, I pondered about how we on earth are connected with each other and the Kingdom, and how the Light of the Lord is so powerful and beautifully present there with us all.

Although building a creative bridge between Heaven and Earth is challenging, it is most definitely possible. As we find ourselves more in step with the Spirit and develop that relationship where we more clearly know His voice, and as we foster our creative voice and skill, we will be able to confidently step into Heaven and take what we have been given there and deliver it through our unique creative voices here on earth.

I don’t know about you, but this fires me up! What a miraculous and amazing opportunity the Lord has invited us to as artists – His beloved co-creators – to communicate the very things of the Kingdom of God through our creative giftings! What amazing revelations and beauty are available for you and your creative expression? Make time and space for the Holy Spirit to show you the answers, be aware of what you are sensing and seeing, and when you have the treasures, express it through your creativity for all of us to see!

“Stories from the Studio” is our weekly series by Gabrielle Dearman where she will be sharing about the happenings at River Oaks – The Worship Studio’s local creative community here in Asheville. Check it out each week as Gabrielle shares highlights from our local artist group meetings, community days, workshops, and all the other great things happening in our creative community.