Our God is a most creative Artist.
From supernova galaxies billowing across the expanse of the cosmos to the extravagantly delicate flowers in a tucked away meadow that no one will ever see, He is the Creative one, the Master Enchanter.
Art is always an expression, an echo, a narrative of who the artist is. When our eyes are opened to glimpse and receive the stunning Holy gallery we find ourselves dwelling in, we glimpse a picture of what He is like. If He gifts us with being able to comprehend this, our gaze can extend beyond the beautiful thing, to the True Beauty.
It is with even more astonishing shock that we discover that we are the pinnacle of this artistry. The feature of his Art Exhibit. We are His workmanship- his poema as it is is beautifully written in the Greek. Yes- we are these wonderfully and fearfully made, intricate, living, breathing poems. Bearers of His image.
Though broken and inconsistent, we were created to be like Him. To reflect his nature. And as created ones, we must create. The impulse to be creative was written into our very DNA. Throughout the whole story of humanity, we have had this impulse, this hardwired desire to create. It may manifest in different ways but oh how the painter must spread vibrant colors across the canvas, the musician must capture the song he hears echoing in creation, the photographer must capture the moment that speaks the Truth, and the writer must articulate the Great Story with honesty and eloquence.
As we, his Beloved Artwork echo back to him the Beauty he’s opened our eyes to, we give him Glory. We step into who we were meant to be. We are invited into the dance- to make, to shape, to dream, and turn whispers of worship into substance through what we create.
It is not easy work– but as we labor, we become agents of reenchantment. Restorers and subdoers of chaos.
The beautiful, broken, redeemed creation creates, restoring, healing beauty.
I wrote these thoughts about creativity last spring- at the invitation of my friend who was making a short film with that theme. It sprung to mind a couple of days ago with the same surprised delight of a forgotten favorite sweater lost in the back of your dresser drawers. Rereading them was such a good reminder of who I am and what I was created to do. What makes me feel alive– creating.
See, life has an uncanny way of bringing up recurring themes, and like the seasons, once the message comes that spring has arrived, I find myself in a symphony of blossoms, in the form of conversations, podcasts, books, and dreams- all echoing the same message that I need to hear. I recently bought this book, The Artist’s Way on a whim. It is self described as “A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self.” The book was a familiar one to me, I had onced leafed through it and was struck by the poignant quotes in the margins, but when it was brought up in the lounge at work, it seemed like the right season in which to dive into this journey of awakening a deeper creativity.
I’m telling you this, dear reader, as I have become somewhat of a Creativity Evangelist these days. I can’t stop thinking about it, and my heart is overflowing to the point of wanting, needing to share it with those around me. It doesn’t feel so much as a quest to merely become a “better artist,” with the purpose of being able to produce a certain quality of work or be able to earn that label through vocation or or recognition. This pursuit of creativity feels more like a stepping into what it means to be fully human.
I’m welcoming you along for the journey. Maybe this is my disclaimer that over the course of the next 12(ish) weeks, let it be known that I am embarking on The Artist’s Way (and inviting you all along as well.)
I’m learning (again and for the first time) what it means to live as an artist, that is, to live as one fully alive. This a concept as broad and varied as the books that sit on the shelves at a bookstore- each story a vibrantly different plot line, and yet there are similar themes in each. Maybe there is really just one story told in a million different ways. Similarly, answering the call to be an artist will play out in a variety of ways, and yet each story echoes the heart of the Author.