Mark and Brenda Whiten live just outside of Phoenix, AZ tonight. They hosted a houseshow in their back yard… I guess that makes it a “behind-the-house” show… as they have done for Jeremy Casella, Alli Rogers and now me. Mark is one of the parties behind the Habanero Hour, a periodic music and interview podcast dedicated to exploring and challenging the idea of “Christian” music. Between the podcast and the “BehindTheHouse-HouseShow” serie, I found their desire to see art celebrated in the church (and music in particular) to be so refreshing. Too often, music in christian settings is viewed as a tool to set up something else; whether it be the “actual” content or the “real” message rather than knowing art as a comprehensive expression of truth and beauty in and of itself.
I am currently reading “Bearing Fresh Olive Leaves” and growing in a renewed sense of art’s spiritual/cultural importance. I believe art is as essential as medicine and architecture. It is as important as the fight against global poverty. Art redefines our understanding of worth and gives our souls language and shape so that we can see more clearly who we are.
There is much more to be said about this topic, but suffice to say for now that it is energizing to find common ground with like-minded others. Hooray for art in the desert!