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Three, or Four, Gs

By November 25, 2017 No Comments

By Jeff Munroe

“Why write a poem at a time like this?” a poet friend asks, and if you are like me, you intuitively feel the answer but cannot always articulate it.

Makoto Fujimura’s new book Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for our Common Life (IVP) says what so many of us feel. Who doesn’t identify with his call away from the culture wars to cultural stewardship? And don’t we all appreciate the work of artists like Mako who create beauty as a response to polarization, terror, and trauma?

He uses three “G” words that especially apply to this space we call The Twelve.

First is “generative,” meaning to beget or create. Mako reminds us that the Bible doesn’t begin with the failure of sin in Genesis 3, but with the abundant goodness of creation in Genesis 1 and 2. God is the Artist, and God invites all of us to join in the work of creation as artists. That happens here: I celebrate that every single day The Twelve is a new creation.

Second is “gratuitous,” in the sense of not necessary. Art isn’t necessary to human survival. Emily Dickinson and Vincent Van Gogh aren’t necessary. The Twelve isn’t necessary. Life will go on without it. But what does it mean not just to survive but to flourish? Painters, novelists, composers, poets, sculptors, and even bloggers feed our souls. My life has been enriched by the musings and insights of Sarina Gruver Moore and Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell and so many others who write in this space.

Third is “generosity.” Creativity is a generous act. Certainly The Twelve is an act of generosity. Every writer volunteers, and none of us readers pays for the content. No commercial transactions take place, The Twelve is a gift freely given, for the renewal of our minds, hearts, spirits, and souls.

Another “G” word, gratitude, is the appropriate response to generosity. I’m grateful for The Twelve. Generosity is also an appropriate response. Won’t you give a gift that supports this project of culture care?

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Jeff Munroe

Jeff Munroe is the editor of the Reformed Journal. 

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