Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson — Book Review

Great read!  If you are a writer, composer, poet or musician, you’ll want to read this book by Andrew Peterson on the creative life (and by the way, since we are made in God’s image, we are all creative).

Much of what Peterson has to say resonates with me as a writer and a Christian.  He is a man after my own heart.  For example:

“One great problem with much art that’s called ‘Christian’ is agenda, which is to say that it’s either didactic or manipulative, or merely pragmatic–in other words the artistic purity of the work tends to take a back seat to the artist’s agenda.

He goes on to say, “God is going to speak through the arts no matter who’s making it.” He “decided early on that I would rather my children listen to a great song by someone who wasn’t a Christian than a bad song by someone who was.”  We need to develop “healthy snobbery about the art … (we) consume.”  This is discernment, and requires that instead of settling for being entertained, we need to “read the nutritional facts on the back of the box.”

He gives suggestions to budding writers, including the need for discipline.  For example:

“The best thing you can do to write your book is to stop not doing it.”

Too often, we put off the hard work of writing or composing, while we wait for inspiration to strike.  This doesn’t always happen.  It’s also important, especially in the beginning to

“… make something, even if it’s not great. … The only way to get better at something is to practice.”

Christian artists also need community:

“They look you in the eye and remind you who you are in Christ.  They reiterate your calling when you forget what it is.  They step into the garden and help you weed it, help you grow something beautiful.”

I could go on and on, but  I won’t.  Just get this book and see for yourself.  Here’s the link:

Adorning the Dark

You can also learn more about Andrew Peterson by going to this website:

Home

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

 

 

In the Garden

“…she turned around and saw Jesus standing there…”  John 20:14

Most of you are probably familiar with the hymn, In the Garden, but you may not know how it came to be written.  This story of it’s origination comes from the book, Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan.

The author of the hymn was a pharmacist named C. Austin Miles.  He began writing gospel songs and became an editor of hymnals and songbooks, as well as a music director for camp meeting, conventions and churches.  His hobby was photography and he found his darkroom to be the perfect place to read the Bible and meditate on the Scripture.  One day in 1912, while waiting for some film to develop, he turned to his favorite chapter of the Bible, John 20, the story of the first Easter.  Here’s his report of what happened:

As I read it that day, I seemed to be part of the scene …A woman in white, with head bowed, hand clasping her throat as if to choke back sobs, walked slowly into the shadows.  It was Mary.  As she came to the tomb, upon which she placed her hand, she bent over to look in and hurried away.  John appeared…then came Peter….As they departed, Mary reappeared, leaning her head upon her arm …She wept.  Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing;  so did I.  I knew it was He…..Under the inspiration of this vision I wrote as quickly as the words would be formed the poem exactly as it has since appeared.  That same evening I wrote the music.”

I never knew until I read this book that the hymn was referring to the meeting of Mary Magdalene and Jesus in the garden after His resurrection.  Here are the words:

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Refrain

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

Does the story of the hymn, and the Scripture put a fresh perspective on the words for you?