It’s Friday. Hallelujah! It’s been a good, important, hard week. It’s been the best of times – news of two close friends having babies (Shelby’s #4 and Katherine’s #3); my most shared blog post ever over at The Gospel Coalition Blog; and then some intense ministry and life pressures and stressors that are inevitable when married to a pastor and working as a counselor, all while parenting two beautiful and strong-willed three-year-old princesses.
So I come here to this page thankful to be able to write and join in again with Lisa-Jo’s “Five Minute Friday” community. Five minutes of unedited free-writing on a different topic each week.
Release. What could it mean to release my art, my words, my love freely into the world? It’s an image of the fireflies we captured earlier this week and put in jars flying into the wild blue yonder again. They didn’t light up in captivity (much to our disappointment). What made them beautiful is the art they made when they were free. When we tried to capture them, to own them for ourselves, the art died (but they did not). Art can only be free when I am released from the cage of my expectations and my perception of yours.
What would I do if I were released (which I am)? Released to create – to dabble again in painting for the sake of painting, to play the piano just for fun, to write words because I want to and I need to but not because I am expected to or need to get a certain number of stats to prove my worth.
Couldn’t I then in my freedom release those around me from the suffocating pressure I exert? To know I am released by one who was chained to a cross – the worst suffering imaginable – who was enslaved to death and chose not to be released – this makes my soul sing. This makes your soul free. I don’t need your applause for my identity and self-worth and writing. I simply need to release Jesus through my words and my art and my laughter and my relationships. And so do you. Jesus imprisoned that my soul would be set free. That ushers me into true release of the best kind – release from slavery to self’s corrosive power on my heart.