I have been working in and around church and ministry for more than half of my life, and I think that I was influenced early on to believe that every great testimony had to end with everything that was once bad now turned around and great… Yay, God!
Now, I don’t ever want to be perceived as the seen-it-all, bitter believer; I’m not ever going to speak ill of some one who has seen God work miraculously in their life. God is a redeemer and a restorer, and I praise him for that! I’ve just come to a place in my own faith where I’m aware that every story doesn’t end happily ever after… and that it’s OK.
I sat in on a break-out session at the Echo Conference this year by Blaine Hogan from Willow Creek Church. Blaine is a great presenter and an incredible artist in the (C)hurch. He gave me so much to think about that day, but the stuff that rocked my
head heart the most was:
Most Christian art feels more like propaganda than truth.
Why is this?
Why is it that so much of the art I make/we make feels this way?
Boom. That’s me.
As a Christian videographer and editor, I’ve been conditioned to only tell stories that end with the hero winning, the damsel rescued and the sinner saved. Does that mean that the stories of doubt and struggle are meaningless? I don’t think so. In truth, I know that there is nothing wrong with the happy-ending stories, but if I look at my own life and faith, I have countless chapters that are still incomplete, still in process, still very messy.
Should all of our stories merely give people a warm-fuzzy, or should they cause them to reflect on their own experiences and seek a deeper faith?
We all want to be inspired by the stories of good triumphing over evil… we love hearing about prodigals coming home… these stories have worth and always will, but I don’t want to miss an opportunity to tell a story that can motivate me and others even if it’s still in the matrix.
I still have a lot to process in this… I’d love to know your thoughts too.