Where Deep Gladness Meets a World’s Deep Hunger

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So I’m thinking about Dorothy again, and her journey that began in a flying house. Prior to a sudden cyclone carrying her away, she was just a little girl living on a dry prairie, drained of all color.

After hours and hours of being in the center of the storm, there was nothing left to do but sleep. Oblivious in sleep, the storm ended, the house landed and when she woke up, beauty and vivid landscape invited her into a brand new world.

Strange and beautiful sights greeted her, including Munchkins and the Witch of the North. The Witch wore a white gown hanging in pleats from her shoulders. Over it were sprinkled little stars that glistened like diamonds. To Dorothy she said, “We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and for setting our people free from bondage.”

She Was Just a Little Girl

But Dorothy knew who she was. She was just a little girl. She did NOT kill a witch.

But the Good Witch just laughed at Dorothy’s assertion she was just a little girl, exclaiming, “YOUR HOUSE did, anyway, and that is the same thing!”

While discovering her house killed a witch greatly upset Dorothy, her loneliness among strangers was greater. The deepest desire of her heart was to get back home to Kansas and Aunt Em.

And as most of us already know, having watched the movie from our childhoods, Dorothy’s longing for home launched her on the yellow brick road. And all along the journey she had to continue to remind everyone – she was just a little girl.

While I’m not a little girl anymore, I know the more childlike my heart is, the more capable I am of awe, wonder and trust. And this awe, wonder and trust leads me into the most satisfying expressions of my own art. You see, while I’m just being me, trusting that “me” is enough, good and lovely things happen along my journey. And often the best parts of my journey are when I get to share the journey with someone else.

Healing Happens When You Face the Dark and Terrible

For Dorothy, her journey was a long walk, sometimes pleasant, sometimes dark and terrible. But she was headed to a place and a person she believed held the answers to her hope, so nothing could deter her. On her journey her hope grew and along the way, she met others in distress. So of course she brought them along with her: the Scarecrow, the Woodman (Tinman in the movie) and the Lion.

As her journey is shared with them, so is hope. And then while together, facing the dark and terrible, hope not only grows, but healing happens. The Scarecrow develops his brain, the Woodman his heart and the Lion his courage. And all the while, Dorothy was enough,  just being herself, a little girl full of belief, hope, wonder and a deep desire to get home.

I Am Enough, Just Like Dorothy Was Enough

Writing songs and singing them is a deep desire of  my own. I call it my deep gladness. One day I sang a song to a group of people. I sang it poorly, and I knew I would. I didn’t have the music quite right yet. But I chose not to care about my performance. Something pure in my heart told me to sing it anyway.

Later on, after many from the group shared from their artistic abilities, we talked about what we experienced. One teenage girl spoke up and said, “When Carla sang, I was healed.” To this day, that remains one of the most significant moments of my life.

When I sang from my heart, trusting that I was enough, I brought someone in on my journey, and she was blessed. And because she was blessed, so was I.

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

This world, our world, is full of strange and beautiful sights. And it’s a world desperately in need of our childlike artist hearts, full of hope and belief. We don’t need to be heroes, get degrees, lead armies or run for president. We just need to be who we are, with our childlike hearts intact, making our art and sharing our art with our hungry world.

With love, from one artist to another,

Carla

 

Do you have a question for me? Write it in the REPLY box and post it to me in the Comments section!

Carla Porter writes, sings, designs architectural interiors and loves God, all in Los Angeles, California.

© 2016, Carla Porter and Whisper of Grace, all rights reserved.

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