Here is an article I wrote a few years ago based on a reflection from a songwriting conference. I reread it today and thought I would share.
Dwelling in the Shadow
A couple of weeks ago I headed down to Nashville Tennessee to attend a one-day songwriting conference put on by Song Discovery. In the first session of the conference Steve Berger spoke about a guy in the bible who was unfamiliar to me. He spoke from Exodus 31: 1-11 about a guy named Bezalel who was commissioned and gifted by God to build the artistic elements of the temple. He designed and fashioned everything from the priestly robes and offering utensils, to the famous Ark of the Covenant. What struck me most about Bezalel was not his artistic abilities, or his amazing works of art. It was his name that inspired me the most, and his name means “Lives in the shadow of God”. What an amazing aspiration for an artist who wants to honor and glorify God with their art.
I am a visual person so I imagine it like this: You are on a dark stage in a theater. The seats are full of people and there is one spotlight shining down on stage a few feet in front of you. Imagine now that the spotlight shining down is Gods glory in its entire splendor, and you are still invisible in the dark. You hold in your hands art that you have created, it is an expression of who you are, where you have been, and it is extremely revealing. It is also a story of Gods great love, grace, and beauty poured out into your life at your darkest moment. You feel very vulnerable, you think of running off stage and not sharing your art, but you can’t move. You start to remember God’s unchanging faithfulness and love in your life and it gives you courage to step forward. You lift up your art with two hands like a shield before you and it hits the light. Your art is illuminated by God’s glory and you find yourself dwelling in the shadow.
As an artist and as a songwriter, this is where I want to live. To be filled with God’s spirit and inspired to create works of art for His honor and glory, and when the light hits them to have the humility to dwell in the shadow.
Thanks for reading! ~Matt