Voices from a warrior and storyteller fill the single hall of our home, blessings from our young son soaking in the warm tub. His sister palms a retired early 2000’s flip phone carrying on an imaginary conversation with Grandma. Their voices carry, a lingering aroma of creativity filling the space we call home. Perhaps it’s best they aren’t told they may never make careers of the art in their hearts, but maybe the art is meant for more than a livelihood.

The art in our hearts is a beacon proclaiming to the world the wonder and splendor of our Creator. Incredibly, the same God who created the heavens and earth, all they contain, pieced you and me together. Better than the hearts found in fancy stuffed animals or the stamped signature of a manufacturer, he put something significant and lasting into your heart and mine, he put a song of art.

The voices of my children seem courageous because the long stifled song of my heart quakes, quivers as I look at the world brimming with inspired talent. It’s enough to squash the small bud, frightened to let the art of her heart free, a process as painful as it is rewarding.  But the song wasn’t intended to praise the world or myself.

An entrusted gift intended to shine to the world, to scream How great is our God we often cage the heart song because it’s unusual, untamed and held in our inexperienced hands. For years I kept quiet, writing in secret, but scarcely satisfied. Often that’s how it feels when the Creator’s work is unfinished. The unrest is one way we’re nudged into the unknown because when we hide the art of our hearts we betray our Creator, and the hollow space intended to be filled with glorious artifacts grows cold and musty.

My eyes searched horizontally for direction, approval and admiration instead of vertically to the Creator and Curator of the art in my heart. When I compared my work to others it sprouted thorns of frustration because my unsure adolescent writing voice wasn’t as eloquent, reflective, or witty as others. I began to wither. But the Creator and Curator don’t easily give up developing and collecting what was carefully breathed into life.

Just as a parent beams at a child learning to walk, encourages the first words of a toddler, or marvels at the adult she has grown into, our loving God cheers our attempts. When our insecurities grow out of control, when we want to give up because we’ll always be second best or last place, when fear sinks its talons deep into our hearts and the world seems filled with closed doors and empty opportunities God proclaims, “You are just as I made you and I want to see the gift I’ve given you flourish!” And because he has woven art into each of our hearts, we can ditch the competition and join the cheer squad of those around us. Yes, the Curator has room for all of our early attempts and magnificent masterpieces, and we should too.

YOU have art in your heart that longs to shine and praise the Creator! He longs to see the gift he gave you developed and enjoyed. It’s not likely it will bring you acclaim or millions of dollars, but that isn’t what it was made for. Yes, you have a beautiful song that reveals the story of our loving God. Will you dare to release it and let your light shine?

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!

Don’t have to be like him or her, I’m gonna let it shine!

Let it shine! Let it shine!

Let it shine.

Image credit: Anita Ritenour

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