I came across this quote today by Daniel Berrigan, Jesuit Priest and activist, as I was researching a project for creating an art activism video.
“I can only trust the movement that is producing art, whether it’s poetry, or visual art, or dance, or music—it doesn’t make any difference. But there has to be that overflow that says, “We are on the move. We have enough to give and we’re going to give it. We have more than enough and we can give it.” So when my turn came for me and my friends to go to jail, we still wrote poetry and recited it to one another. We would meet on Sunday morning in the yard, and we said a poem we had memorized or written that week. We had Bible study going too. I don’t know where all that came from. As I look back, it was a very important and beautiful period together. It said, in effect, “They don’t own us. We’re not here on their terms. We have enough to give this to one another.” And that’s what we did.
You can really trust the movement that is producing that kind of overflow of the vessel—it’s getting tipped and there’s enough for everybody. And we call it art. We call it joy. The joy can’t be mandated, it’s just there or it isn’t there. And if the community is growing and deepening, it will be there. I’m convinced, it will be there.”
What we are making speaks to the depth of our journey together.
We as the church should be creating things out of our deep journey with God. Poetry, dance, paintings, music, design…. yes all of these creative things. But also houses for orphans, food for all, redeeming the broken places of the world and making them beautiful. This comes out of our interaction with the God who has created all things and is continuing to create.
What is it that you are creating? Not what are you reproducing. What are you creating?