Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For the Love of It

My husband is an incredibly task-oriented person. He likes to work concretely on concrete things that solicit concrete results which can be measured, tallied, and crossed neatly off a list.
In many ways, I am like him. But, I am also an artist, and as an artist, I have had to learn--sometimes through trial by fire--that sometimes a thing must be done purely for the love of it.
I have poured my heart and soul into theatrical performances that, when the curtain falls at the end of the night, are gone forever, preserved only in the memories of those who were there. As an artist, I have written entire books that may forever go unpublished, unread, and unremarked. Certainly, unpaid. Some people scoff at this and think, "Oh, those silly starving artists." But, I wonder if this is not precisely what Christ calls us to.
Do you realize Jesus never wrote a single word in His entire life? Everything He ever said was left unrecorded until after His death. He was a carpenter, and yet we have no artifacts, no bowls He carved or carts He built. When He ascended to Heaven, He took even His body with Him. He left behind only His message and His love.
What was it all for? Where was His list of accomplishments? Where was His concrete proof that it had all been worthwhile, that He would be remembered?
He hung on a cross and blood and water flowed from His side, and He said, "It is accomplished." No tally mark. No finished product. Only love.
If your daily vocation is filled with easily recognizable tasks and goals, then consider yourself blessed. For the rest of us who tackle ever-growing mountains of laundry, cook suppers that will disappear in less time than it took to prepare them, pray for hopes we may never see fulfilled in this life, who bless and serve and listen and create and wait...
Well, we must learn to live for the love of it and to live for the Love of Him.


  1. How interesting to remember that Jesus was a carpenter, yet we have none of his bowls, carts or tables.

    What would something made by Jesus look like? I think it would be smooth, functional, beautiful, show excellent craftsmanship...I guess we'll never hold one of these things in our hands, although of course we have God's creation all around us.

    I'm an aspiring writer too and I've only had some very small pieces published under my name. But William Faulkner said, "If there's a story in you, it has to come out." That's how I look at it now. We have to free the stories within ourselves even if they never make it into a bookstore.


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