Inspiration is Not Cancelled

Editor’s Note:

Words fail, we find, in these extraordinary days. We stumble to enunciate this new life with them. Often, we have no words—even for God. Twenty writers and ministry leaders (Mudroom sisters included) joined together to offer theirs. The Pandemic Prayerbook: A Pray-at-Home Guide for the Corona Crisis is a collection of 30 prayers that turn our faces upward.

Join us today, as we pray with Tammy Perlmutter . . .

Heavenly Father,
just as you called prophets, priests, and kings,
you called your people to artistry,
giving them your kingdom as a canvas,
filling them “with skill to do all kinds of work
as engravers, designers, embroiderers
in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen,
and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.”¹
In this time of waiting,
minister to our artists, writers, musicians,
all who draw beauty out of the air for others to savor.
Thank you for art, a rich source of nourishment
to supplement our daily diet of breaking news.
Kindle in artists a slow-burning fire that feeds their creativity,
sparking insight out of loneliness, anxiety, and concern.
Like Irina², poet of the gulag, who would carve her poems on bars of soap,
memorize them, then wash the evidence away,
may our artists find that words and concepts, chorus and verse, paint on canvas
are powerful and eternal, regardless of the medium used to express them.
Invite artists into deeper co-creation with you.
Let them be moved not by the urge to be seen,
but by the desire to find beauty and share it.
While stuck at home alone or with children,
feverish with illness,
or finding themselves stunned with a litany of cancellations,
release them from the pressure to perform and produce.
May artists of words, watercolor, or rhythm
remember that time being fully present is time spent constructively.
Bring hope in long, dark nights.
Bring energy and vision to mornings that come too early.
Bring inspiration and income to fill the empty spaces on the calendar.
Breathe into artists, and through them, your life-giving strength.
1 Exodus 35:35

2Irina Borisovna Ratushinskaya was a Russian Soviet dissident, poet, and writer. In the 90s I had the honor of meeting her and proofreading a book of her poetry, Wind of the Journey.

Irina Ratushinskaya, Soviet dissident who turned captivity into poetry, dies at 63.

This prayer first appeared in Pandemic Prayerbook: A Pray-at-Home Guide for the Coronavirus Crisis, complied by Darcy Cross Wiley.


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