From Pastor Travis: When I think of the arts, a lot comes to mind. I admire artwork for its sheer beauty. I celebrate the talent that creates great music, painting, and poetry. I wonder at the deeper meaning words artfully presented, or a piece of visual art displayed, might convey. In addition to inspiring the heart and stimulating the mind, what might it mean for art to heal the spirit? I have been reflecting on this aspect of art this week after hearing a radio interview with someone who journeyed through the grief of his wife’s tragic death with the help of Dante’s literature. In his book In A Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love, Joseph Luzzi shares how reading Dante’s literature helped shed some light on the deep darkness of the despair he experienced after his wife’s death. Though Dante (or any art work for that matter) cannot solve the mystery of suffering or completely take away the pain of a searing loss, Joseph articulates the power art holds to lead us through our own individual “dark woods” of mourning. In that place where it can feel like we are totally isolated in our grief, art is one vehicle that can connect us again to others, offer a medium to express our emotions, and light a way into a future that sadness alone cannot provide. Have you ever experienced art this way? If so, I would love to hear from you. Let’s reflect together on how we as a church community might artfully “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).