A Christian artist

Why is it that I, who have spent my life writing, struggling to be a better artist, and struggling also to be a better Christian, should feel rebellious when I am called a Christian artist? Why should I feel reluctant to think or write about Christian creativity?


It’s more than just that I feel the presumption of someone like me – wife, grandmother, storyteller – attempting such a task. I wouldn’t even consider it had I not already struggled with it in talks which Mel Lorentzen, Bea Batson, and others in the English department at Wheaton College have pulled out of me. It was some of these faltering lectures which caused Luci and Harold Shaw to ask me to expand my thoughts into a book. And then came Ayia Napa.


Probably it was Ayia Napa that clinched it. When Dr. Marion van Horne asked me to come to Ayia Napa, in Cyprus for two weeks, how could I resist? I love to travel. My brief trip several years ago to Greece and the Greek islands made me love the incredible blue and gold air of this land where Apollo drove his chariot across the sky, where John brought the mother of Jesus, where Pythagorus walked on the beach, and where Paul preached a message of love even more brilliant than the sun.


Who could resist a trip to Cyprus? To teach at a conference on literature and literacy for delegates from twenty-two underdeveloped and developing countries all over the word, delegates whose only common denominator was Christianity – every denomination and brand and variety of Christianity. And what was I being asked to lecture about? The Christian artist. 


from “Walking on Water” by Madeleine L’Engle