Art and the Orphan Movement

Art moves us all.  It’s certainly fine that many Christians gravitate towards words as their primary way to express what God puts on their heart.  Admittedly, that’s true of me.  My singing rarely garners anything but annoyed glances from the people in the pews in front of me, and my drawing skills haven’t progressed since the 6th grade.  Still, I love the way well-crafted art can convey the good, true and beautiful in a way words alone can’t.  The Bible affirms the value of this creative expression, from the poetry and music of the Psalms to the visual art of Bezalel in God’s temple.  The truth is, art can play a potent role in engaging hearts, minds and actions on behalf of things that matter. Think of the potent effect of a story like Uncle Tom’s Cabin or a song like the Battle Hymn of the Republic in the movement towards abolition.  That’s why it’s particularly exciting to see art springing up that stirs hearts and minds for the cause of the fatherless.   Here’s just a few examples.  (And if you’re an artist, know that you’re needed! Use that gift for things that matter!)

  • Eric Schumacher, pastor of Northbrook Baptist Church of Cedar Rapids, IA collaborated to create a poignant new hymn for Orphan Sunday, entitledThough I was Born an Orphan.” (He’s even provided the sheet music and learner recording free for download.)
  • Brook Fraser’s song Albertine tells the story of her encounter with an orphan in Rwanda.  The imagery of the music video is equally compelling.
  • Eleatta, an accomplished painter, created the painting The Orphan’s Dream to celebrate Orphan Sunday 2009.   The painting seeks to capture the hope and beauty of orphans from across the world being adopted into loving homes.
  • Adoptive father and Minnesota musician Peder Eide wrote the song Why Wouldn’t I? as he reflected on the gift his adopted children are to him.
  • Sara Groves’ song and video I Saw What I Saw also centers on Rwanda, exploring the joy and pain and call of God she experienced in orphans and other children there.