“She is the best person in our church,” he says.
“When we gather as a church,” he says. “We are really gathering as people who have a lot of pain…art helps us deal with our pain.”
He stands in front of a room of professionals with paint splattered all over his shirt and pants—this young man who lives art. We will watch him do his beautiful work all weekend as he puts pigment to the speakers’ words at this conference. He describes himself as a “visual scribe” and says on his website, “What interests me most about visual art is the story that unfolds during the creative process…”
And this day he gives us a story. It’s a story of someone he loves who became sick. How she fought bravely. And died. A young woman…beautiful and good.
And for a minute I think that maybe the end might be happy. We do this. We talk about the ones who leave like they are still here. Aren’t they? Is the end happy?
Scott Erickson stood on the stage in front of a suit-clad crowd and poured his heart out about grief and community and…art.
“Our truest songs—there are two of them,” he says. “And Jesus reveals both of them to us.”
The first one, he says, is the cry that Jesus made from the cross.
Am I forsaken?
Isn’t this the first question our hearts lift to the heavens when hardship comes? But, says Scott, the rest of the world is already singing this song. The rest of the world is already asking, Am I forsaken?
What sets us apart as Christians, he says, is the second song.
You belong to me.
This is the song Christ sings over us. This is the song we are given.
We need to sing the songs we are given, Scott says.
This is how art transforms. When we let God speak through the truth of this fallen world—through the questions and the hard parts. Through the loss and the pain. When Jesus steps out of our story and says, You belong to me. ..
We will not be the only ones transformed.
Watch this video of Scott from last year’s Jubilee Professional conference.