The Art in Healing

April 1, 2016


I spent yesterday morning in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast as I had to take my Mum there for a routine check up and so, while I was waiting for her to be taken care of, I located the cafe and duly settled myself down with a nice big cup of tea to pass the next couple of hours.


I always find hospitals some of the most inspiring of places to be in, making me feel thankful for so much. Not just for the blessing of good health which is a greatly under appreciated state to be in, but also for all the people who work so hard in our hospitals from top to bottom, caring for the ill and infirm. I can’t help but feel grateful for and inspired by the all of those who have dedicated their lives and careers in the care of others. What greater service can there be than the care of others in one form or another?


As I was sitting in the cafe I became aware of familiar figure smiling and waving from several tables away and recognised a minister whom I knew from regular visits to lead worship in his church over a number of years. As I got up to join him at his table I spotted an official hospital lanyard around his neck and wondered to myself if all ministers were now had to issued with one before they could visit people, only to discover that my minister friend had left his church to take up a full time post as part of the hospital’s chaplaincy team. “Wow.” I said, “That’s fantastic. What a wonderful job.” And I meant it too! Here I was, in the cafe of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, already feeling inspired by the constant flurry of people moving to and fro in the constant care of all types of people, when I bump into a guy whose full time job was to bring spiritual comfort to those being treated and their families. Inspiration overload. 


As we chatted, he shared how he had just completed a thesis for a Phd. on how science was discovering measurable positive effects that music and the arts were now recognised as having on patients recovery and health and how apparently these effects are so profound that they aid swifter recovery times as well as having significant mental and general health benefits. In a previous blog I wrote about how I believe music has such a powerful on us because it is essentially about vibrations and that everything in this amazing universe that God has created is vibrating too. The entire universe is God’s song of love.

Check out: Good Vibrations



As I listened to to him tell me how the government and health trusts were now beginning to explore using music and arts in health care, I began to get excited about the potential for many of us artists to have the opportunity to really help people with what we do. These gifts of ours can sometimes seem so superficial compared to the rightfully impressive work of the surgeons, doctors, nurses and health care professionals that have trained for years to understand human biology to help heal people. But here was a guy telling me that the arts can help as well and that here’s a significant part for even us flaky creatives to play in the healing of the sick and as far as I am concerned, I would love to be a part of whatever this may look like in the future, because I don’t believe for a moment that God gives us these gifts to simply keep them for ourselves or to build our own reputations and kingdoms, but to share with others and contribute to the only kingdom which actually matters and will ultimately out last all others…His.



Perhaps you’re already using the arts to help in some sort of therapeutic capacity? Why not drop me a line and let me know.

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