"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night."
~ Genesis 1:1-5
I love creating art. Writing, acting, cooking, teaching, even parenting - all of these mediums are forms of creativity for me. They are activities that nurture my soul, and breathe joy into my life.
In art and creativity we don’t just find ourselves, we find God.
The first characteristic of God Scripture reveals to us is that he is creative. He creates. He moves through formlessness and void, and makes something that had never before existed.
I recently had the chance to participate in something wonderfully creative. It was a collaborative project that demanded a lot of energy, focus, and attentiveness to God. As we created, rehearsed, and performed, my inner artist experienced a burst of joy.
Something deep in each of us is made to create. Creating art is a core part of our imago dei, our God-likeness.
Now, back in my “regular” life, I am left wondering how to continue creating art, and reflecting God through living a creative life.
I don’t believe art is limited to brushstrokes on a canvas. The heart of creativity is what we see in Genesis 1. Creativity is calling forth something out of a void. Creativity is using our power to coax and nurture new life into existence. Creativity is putting beautiful order to a jumbled mess. Creativity is seeing and naming the value of something that didn’t have much of an identity. Creativity is partnering with God to shape a new reality into being.
So where in our lives do we practice this spiritual discipline of creativity? Where do we partner with God in the act of making art? Well, it can happen in a million different ways.
We use our words to influence, teach, guide, inspire, or encourage someone.
We create a home that is welcoming to anyone who steps through our doorway.
We develop meaningful relationships with our neighbors, coworkers, and strangers.
We do what is right and just, even when it feels hard or foolish.
We craft a meal that reminds people of the simple truth that they are loved.
We help a child learn to read a book and enter a story with curiosity.
We envision how things could be and cast vision and change culture.
We make something beautiful, for beauty’s sake.
We enter into grief or pain with a friend.
We process our emotions and thoughts, and translate them into written words.
The opportunity for art and creativity is all around us. It is in the air we breathe. The question is, will we partner with the Divine Creator?
ACTION & PRACTICE
Take a moment to reflect about the various facets of your life - your family life, your work life, your ministry life. Where, in those areas, do you have the opportunity to create art? How might God be inviting you to see yourself as a creator?
Where in your life do you create art? How can you practice the spiritual discipline of art and creativity? Please share in the comments.
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