The relationship between art and pain is undeniable. All art (I'd add the best art) is birthed out of pain, in one form or another. Pain is universal, which is the reason art can break down barriers and bring people together. Art, birthed out of pain, speaks to our personal and communal brokenness and our longing to be mended. I recently heard it said that poets and songwriters create their work as a result of experiencing pain. So for us to ask for more work, more poems and songs, we are asking the poet and songwriter to experience more pain. While most of us would not actually want someone to experience more pain, we eagerly anticipate more art, because it speaks to the pain in our own lives.
Great artisits create work that expresses personal pain, and in doing so, addresses our pain felt corporately. I can listen to a blues song and be moved, because I can relate on some level to the lyrics of the song. And so can the single mom, and the businessman and the homeless teenager. The singer's gut-wrenching story is my story. And it's our story.
Art that is created out of pain not only resonates because we relate to the pain, but because we have an insatiable desire to be relieved from that very pain. In order to experience healing, deliverance, restoration, and mending, we must first acknowledge and confront our pain. Great art speaks not just to the pain experienced, but also looks toward the day where we are able to move forward.
All art is shaped by pain, but not all pain is permanent. And when art taps into this reality, it becomes transformative.