"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness"
Have you ever found yourself in a place of deep sadness, wondering when the storm will relent and the sun shine through? These seasons are marked by intense waiting, praying, and trusting but also by profound growth as we draw closer to the Lord. In this unpredictable and bleak time, many of you may find yourself in similar contemplative seasons of growth. It is with great joy that we can press into Jesus, the One who gives us reason to dance and promises to walk with us in our sorrow.
In the following video, artist Linda Wells, director of Compass Dance Academy and on staff at Inspiro Arts Alliance, shares her story of how the Lord used the artform of dance to bring healing and deepen her walk with Him. Check out Linda's story by clicking on the link below:
Some time ago, I attended a retreat with our Inspiro Arts team. We spent four days, working through different activities, exercises, spending free times and meals together — the kinds of things you would expect for a team-building retreat. One of the activities involved spending an extended time in individual prayer and listening, using our different artistic gifts to respond to whatever we sensed God bringing to our attention.
This piece is called “Hope in a Darkened World.” I made it while I was confined to my fifteen square meter room in Pisa, Italy during the lockdown. The longer the lockdown in Italy lasted and the more COVID-19 measures were taken, the more I felt anxiety and fear was growing globally. As a result, there was also a growing spirit of mistrust and doubt.
How are you feeling during these unusual times?
Restricted and constrained. That is how I was feeling when the COVID-19 measures were first introduced in Austria. During the prayer time of a YouTube service from my church in Vienna, I told the Lord this. Suddenly, I realised that He understands what I’m feeling! He willingly restricted Himself far more for us when He became a human and even let Himself be nailed to a cross – all out of love for us, to save our lives.
Are you a visual artist or musician looking for a unique opportunity? Our partners in Belgium are hard at work planning and preparing a traveling art exhibition using the early Christian motif of the labyrinth to feature both historic Flemish and contemporary artwork.
“The imperfections show that a person made this.” Someone recently said this to me in a conversation about arts and perfectionism, and my breath caught in my throat for a moment. She was right – the little imperfections in our art make it more accessible, reminding others that we are just like them. Yet, so often, I find myself hesitant to engage in creative expression because of a deep fear of imperfection. Thoughts such as “Will it be good enough?” “What if it’s awful?” and “Maybe no one will like it,” stomp all over my creative spark, putting it out before I can even begin.
COVID-19 has been difficult for so many for a variety of reasons. One of these is the cancellation of events that many people have looked forward to and feel the loss of keenly. Read below about how one of our ministry partners is bringing joy into peoples’ lives by expressing the hope of the gospel through a traditional artistic practice.
Did you grow up as I did, looking towards 2020 as the “year of the future”? I remember reading science magazines and watching TV shows that imagined video calls, pocket computers, robot household assistants, automated self-driving cars, immersive VR headsets… I was stoked to see what the future had in store for us and watched earnestly as one by one these technological fantasies entered the realm of reality. I just didn’t really anticipate… well, this.
For all our bold innovations improving and enhancing our everyday lives, it turns out humanity remains brutally fragile.
In a small country in Europe nestled between France and Germany, a stirring is taking place to see the healing of a fractured and divided church. With three distinct languages and a diversity of culture, Belgium has long been divided into the French-speaking Wallonia, Dutch-speaking Flanders, and the German-speaking East Cantons. Clashes over politics, government, and federal funding have kept these areas apart. A ministry partner working with OM Belgium, Matt Swanton, says, “You cross from one side to the other and it feels like entering a different country.”