taking myself too seriously

with 2 comments

I went to Chicago two weeks ago for a wonderful conference on art and faith. It’s always good – I get to take acting classes, hear from and be with other artists – but this year was especially thought provoking. There are so many things I’m carrying around with me, but here’s just one.

We got to watch a clip of Bono speaking with Bill Hybels – who is a pastor, a well-known religious leader. The point of their interview was the AIDS crisis in Africa – it’s a great interview. However, this was a clip that didn’t make it into the original video. In it, Bono is speaking about the necessity of being honest as an artist – and he says:

You have to be honest.
A lie can be as simple as who you want to be, rather than who you are.

Then he goes on to say that he found the religious life to be difficult to live honestly as an artist. Too difficult is what isn’t said, but implied. In other points in the interview, he talks about how he has given up on the church for much of his life, and is just now finding some places of connection.

Now, I’m not talking about his faith here. You don’t have to listen to him very long to know that his faith is deep and real, this man knows Jesus and loves him and is trying his hardest to figure out what it means to serve him – in the midst of his life as a rock star. No, what Bono finds difficult is the religious life, which is different from faith. And as much as I would like to say that I have faith alone, that I am not and will never be religious – the fact is that I spend my days working in a church that I love. Which puts me smack in the middle of some religious life.

Bono is a man I respect greatly, both for the art he has created and for what he has done with his life. And his statement made me think – where do I compromise on both ends? How many times have I not reflected the truth of the world I see around me through my art because it’s too messy, because I’m afraid, because I don’t want to push hard enough? And how many times have I backed off from the fullness of my life of faith – especially when I find myself among other artists, because I worry what they might think?

Ironically, those places of backing off, of trying to be safe, will turn me into the very thing I want most not to be: the safe church artist, parroting religiousness. I know it all would be stronger somehow, my faith and my art, if I could live at the farthest edges of both things – reckless in my faith, passionate in my art.

Here’s hoping…


Written by Sarabeth :: the dramatic

June 28, 2007 at 11:22 pm

Posted in art, church, fear, life

2 Responses

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  1. Nicely said

    James M. Helms

    June 29, 2007 at 1:55 am

  2. Hello? hello? You still there? I know you are cause ur page looks different….I hope YOU’RE not out of words! 🙂


    July 6, 2007 at 9:15 pm

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