“Why is everything so heavy?… So much more than I can carry.” —Chester Bennington, Linkin Park.
Creating out of Pain
As you likely know, Chester took his own life on July 20, 2017. Since his death it has been well documented that he was abused as a child and struggled with addiction and depression throughout his life. His art came from a place of deep pain. He took his pain and created music that was sometimes filled with rage and other times with sadness, but it was deeply personal and it resonated with millions of people. He created…
“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27) What does it mean to be created in God’s image? It means that we reflect Him and His character. The Creator, from which everything comes has put into humankind the ability to create, to live out our identity as those who bear His image. God has created us to create, to bring beauty and worship into a world desperately in need of it. But our creativity also reflects the imperfect and fallen world we live in. Poetry, music, film, painting, sculpture, photography; all of these things can reflect God, yet all of these can also reflect pain, fallenness, love and hate. The artist may cry out to God without even knowing that they do.
Lamentation and the Blues
A large portion of the Old Testament is poetry. The writers of Psalms, Proverbs, and most of the prophetic books wrote in poetic form. Psalms is a particularly emotional book, filled with writings expressing praise, but often expressing anger, doubt, and pain. In fact, the largest portion of the Psalms, the laments, are poems filled with pain and grief; the blues, we might call them today. The poet cries out to God seeking relief from the pain of his world. Sound familiar?
The Creator Feels your Pain
Perhaps you are an artist and you express your pain and grief in poetry, song or some other form. Perhaps you don’t consider yourself to be an artist at all, but you still deal with deep pain inside and you find a different outlet for it. Maybe you have no outlet at all. Whatever your situation, there is someone who identifies with you. God, the Creator, became a human in Jesus. The prophet Isaiah predicted what Jesus’ life would be like. “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” (Isaiah 53:3) As a human being, Jesus experienced all the emotions that we also feel. In fact, the words of Chester Bennington above echo what Jesus was feeling as he neared the end of his life. “May this cup be taken from me” (Matthew 26:39) is simply another way of saying this is “so much more than I can carry.” Our Creator is not one who is far away, unaffected by the pain that is so prevalent on this earth. He has quite literally walked in our shoes.