Faith and Art.

Oooooh, crap. Seriously. You know when you get this idea in your head? And, when it's in your head it seems so great and noble and cool? But then you put it in words and try to share what you're thinking with someone else and it just seems so flat? I hate that. Stephen King put it best when he wrote, "The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings - words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out." (I think that's from The Body... I'll have to check.)

So, anyway. I had this idea. Kind of a physical embodiement of the whole "Faith & Art" thing. It started with a random comment from my mom (my mom is a great source of inspiration!)

There is a building I'm obsessed with. It's in St. Bernard (see this post to catch up on that whole thing.)

It's the building where my dad grew up and where my grandparents were the groundskeepers (and it's in front of the house where my mom grew up, though you can't see it in the photo. Her house faced the street to the side of this building.) I love this building. When I was little, my grandpa would take my brother and I upstairs to the large hall/meeting space and play church or play school with us. He sat patiently while I "taught" the class from the stage up front. There is a third floor that always seemed secret and that made it cool. I really hadn't thought much about this building in a while but after deciding to drive by it one afternoon after Christmas, I couldn't get it out of my head. My mom came into the equation when she casually said, "You should buy that place and open an art store and teach classes!" I blew it off at the time - because I wasn't looking to open any kind of store. Or teach any classes. But after I started thinking about it and praying about it, it didn't seem like such a strange idea. I mentioned it to Heather, who kindly told me I wasn't stupid for even considering something like this and by the way there are grants for things like rehabbing and preserving old buildings. Oh, and by the way again, Heather knows a thing or two about grants and generously offered to look into some things for me. And she didn't think it was stupid. Huh. Ok, God. I'm listening.

So my next step was talking to Jodi to get her opinion of whether something like this would work in Cincinnati. Would she come be a part of something like this if it were to happen? Did she think my vision of what it could be was realistic? (Jodi is the Vineyard queen and won't blow smoke up my... nose... if she thinks I'm being stupid.) Jodi? Was ecstatic. Once again, someone else understood my idea and was excited to be a part of it.

I started thinking about the article I'd read about St. Bernard. And how much it would mean to me personally if I were able to somehow be involved in something that would benefit the city. To be able to teach classes - to do a workshop on "Faith & Art" with people waiting to have that "ah HA!" moment would be amazing. But then the first roadblock... the building is not for sale.

I had to step back and decide if this idea is strictly because of my attachment to that building? Or would I be willing to try this in any open space that would fit the need? St. Bernard would be my first choice, but Norwood, Elmwood Place or even Clifton would be possibilities. Any of the First Suburbs would work. So I'm open. And hopefully after we get more info on a grant I'll be talking to my best friend's dad, a real estate agent in the area, about possible locations.

But then? (And here's where it gets hard for me) God put the brakes on. I'd kind of been feeling it but it hit me head on yesterday. I've been dealing with some stuff with God and church and just stuff. Some of it is justified and some is not. But the justified stuff is actually the most dangerous to me because if it feels like I have a right to feel a certain way then I usually close down and don't try to get beyond feeling that way. My relationship with God is good. My relationship with church is not. My time spent in prayer is not what it should be, though my random talking to God is up. I can feel myself resisting some things and I'm betting God just got the to the point where He's whacking me in the head with a spiritual baseball bat (because God is a baseball fan and I'm sure the bat metaphor is totally accurate and in the bible somewhere.) I'm being stubborn. But the scary thing that I'm not exactly sure what God wants from me. And I'm not entirely sure I want to know because I'm nothing if not aware of the fact that I owe my life to Him and can't turn Him down when he calls.

So. To sum up. Idea is cool. Grant money may be available to help. Building I want is not currently available. Feel God urging me to pray for the city of St. Bernard. Also feel that tension that something needs to give on my part and it's a little nerve wracking. Please pray for me and this insane idea (if I were still in Maryland, Betsy would totally know what to do with all this - Cedar Ridge is perfect for matters of "Faith & Art" ::insert pouty "I miss CRCC" whining here::)


Jodi said…
Um yeah it's almost 2 am...I have to work tomorrow and now I'm suppose to be able to sleep after reading with a picture too??? Man oh Man....
Betsy said…
"My time spent in prayer is not what it should be, though my random talking to God is up"...

Um, huh?

I know I'm not a 'quiet time' person, like some people are, and I have gone on record telling you that you should not join a bible study, which would put an end to my Christian cred with many.... but um, seriously,come on.

I don't mean to diminish your very real struggles or the challenge of listening to God, and the interweaving of those struggles with this plan or any of your other stuff going on.

But come on.

Also, I could move to Ohio and teach theatre games or sewing or something.
Stacie said…
Um, hi? KNITTING?! I totally forgot to tell you you're the guest knitting instructor.

And, yes. I get your incredulous reponse to me "prayer" vs. "random talking to God." I had a doozy of a conversation last night with him while driving. I need to get out of my pattern of thinking that prayer only counts if you planned it and "made time for it." Seriously, last night I was telling God that I "get" grace but it seems like it shouldn't extend to me because I've chosen to find better things to do than spend time with Him. Murder? SURE, you get grace. Don't make time specifically to pray but find yourself talking to God quite a bit? Meh, you suck. See... F-d up.

I wish I could approach my relationship with God without all my "I should..." and "you're supposed to..." taken out of the picture. I don't know how to do that.

"um, seriously, come on." = why I love you so.

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