Art, Beauty & Evangelization

Marie Miller is a Christian pop musician who does not record in the Christian music genre. But she takes every opportunity to openly speak about, and more importantly, live out her faith. One of 10 children from a Shenandoah Valley family, her star is rising quickly. Her new single, 6'2", recently was used on ABC's Dancing With The Stars and featured on VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown.

Her music, while secular pop, reflects the beauty of life and God's hand in it. Even Hugh McIntyre at the very liberal Huffington Post cites her as a bright alternative to Taylor Swift.

In anything creative, it is important to show, not tell. The problem with much of today's art, especially that which attempts to draw attention to perceived societal and political ills, from Christian or secular humanist points of view, is that it blatantly tells you what it is trying to convey. Or, in the case of music, screams it at you. Words often accompany visual art. Why? It's supposed to be visual, not literal.

Miss Miller has it right. To be sure, she references an old actor and visual artist who said Beauty is a tool for evangelization. 

Saint John Paul The Great, who was an actor before entering the priesthood, and who continued to carve and sculpt after his ordination (when he was a bishop in Poland he gave the late Diocese of Richmond Bishop John Russell a sculpture he carved which the diocese still has in its collection), wrote an open letter to artists and their Christian role. According to Miss Miller, John Paul said:

Beauty stirs a hidden nostalgia for God and that it recalls our hearts' deepest longing for God.

The goal of artists trying to make a point, especially Christians, should not be to shout it from the mountain. It should be to show the beauty of the mountain.

Here is a terrific feature on Marie Miller followed by a studio interview with her on EWTN News Nightly. She is eloquent (especially for her young age) in her definition of the role on art in culture and is worth the view. It begins at the 17:48 mark.