Thinking about this recently has brought me to the assumption that everyone, all of us, are looking for something, or someone to believe in. We are all looking for the thing that inspires us, that gets our blood pumping, the thing that makes us feel as though we are making a difference, this is called our dream or our calling. We are also looking for acceptance and connection beyond a human level, where we feel loved and safe, this is the someone we believe in, the soul mate, or the best friend.
At the root of these desires however, is something even greater, something even larger, the most recurring theme in all of human history, reconciliation. I believe we as human beings have an innate desire for reconciliation, and the reasons are many.
One, is simply because we are born into our own sin nature, we are born into brokenness. When we do wrong, we experience isolation, and when we are truly convicted of that wrong, we desperately desire someone to hold onto, someone to tell us it’s alright, someone to stamp our reconciliation. It is a desire that our new century, do it yourself, culture is trying to thwart with it’s idea of just simply accepting one’s faults instead of endeavoring to correct and reconcile them. But this is where every single moment of the Biblical narrative is pointing, and therefore it is the path that God is constantly forging in the world.
His command to bring his Kingdom and make disciples is to bring more people to reconciliation. ‘Getting saved’ is not some cheap way of getting in to heaven, it is a reconciliation with the Father, where you realize that you are not alone, and that you are accepted and loved. The brokenness you were born into is then gone. This is a word that not only means repairing a wronged relationship, it is a welcoming into a life of hope that reveals the reality that we are never truly alone.
The fear of being alone is number three on the list of what humans are most afraid of. But I would argue that it is really number one, because number one is public speaking. What is so scary about public speaking? That fact that you are alone in front of hundreds of people. Number two is death, what is so scary about death? The uncertainty of where you’re going and if you’ll ever see anyone again. Will you be alone, you ask. We dread being alone, because we have, stitched into the very fibers of our being, a heart strand that beats to be reconciled, to know that we are not alone.
This is why the story of a broken relationship between a father and son being repaired speaks to so many of us. That is why fifteen-year-old girls and sixty year old men alike will cry at the end of the movie, because reconciliation has occurred, and when you witness true reconciliation, you have witnessed pure holiness. There is something truly other worldly about it.
If we desire to create art that speaks to people where they are right now, we need to begin to think in this way. We need to begin to ask ourselves, what are the innate desires of the human heart, and how can I discuss them and bring them to light using my talents? This is how come we have works of art that are so-called timeless. Because our rooted, basic human desires do not change. That is how great plays are written, that is how award winning films are made, that is how photographers become famous, that is what makes an artist’s life’s work as worth while as a businessman or a missionary. We have gifts that can shine a light and hold a mirror up to the human soul like nothing else can. We have the ability to pluck the strings of the human heart back into action, by reviving it’s deepest, sometimes lost, desires. But we must ask ourselves what they are first.