Art Inspiration

A couple of nights ago, I had a "bucket list" experience. A friend of mine surprised me with tickets to see one of my absolute favorite singers, Gregory Porter. (His record Liquid Spirit is a beautiful work and a great introduction to his music). My friend even called my wife and worked it out with her so that she could arrange a sitter and be able to experience an incredible date night together. The gesture alone was already incredibly generous (my love language is gift giving) but I knew the experience would be incredible. It did not disappoint.From the moment he stepped on stage, I was captivated. To hear him sing live the songs that I'd listened to so many times was beautiful. Gregory's voice embodies the unique blend of calm and comfort while exhibiting passion and feeling. Although I was simply enjoying the moment with my bride, the Lord began to speak to me in the midst of the concert.Witnessing the excellence and expertise of the musicianship on that stage was breathtaking. I began to think about the natural gifting of the band members, connected to the dedication necessary to arrive at that stage in their careers. The simple expression of their art was a glorification to the Creator-God. There is one particular song, though, that took it the next step further in usefulness in pointing to the reality of God in culture. The song is called, "Take Me To The Alley". It was an intentional use of an artistic platform to point to the plight of those in our society that have less and are under-resourced. In listening to Mr. Porter sing this song so wonderfully, I was inspired by his decision to use his gift to elevate and empower others.I have heard so much said and discussed lately about the degradation of our culture through some artistic mediums (music, television, film) and the lack of awareness or care about the outcomes by the artists, themselves. To whatever degree that is the case, I can say for certain that it was truly inspiring to be reminded that art can be a beautiful and powerful way to encourage, enlighten and affect change in our society.I'm so thankful for the gift of that experience and that night, on so many levels.