It’s funny the things that give pleasure within the same activity/genre. I like to make quilts. Which is a sewing activity, right? But I do not care to sew clothing as I once did. What I have come to realize is that it is not the activity of sewing that I like, it is what I am sewing or better said, creating. Even in sewing a quilt I can quickly come to dislike it if I do not like how color or patterns are progressing.
Creativity if a funny thing. It can inspiring or frustrating; it can be challenging or easy; it can be a driving force or lassez-faire. God gave this marvelous gift, I believe to give us a measure of understanding about who He is and what He is like.
Since we are made in the image of a creative God there is a measure of creativity within each of us. Yet there are those who seem to be bereft of this creative gene. In my first appointment it was part of my responsibility to work with kids ages 7 to 10. During an art project I suggested that they use their imagination to draw a picture about some part of the story we had just read that they liked. I was astounded (and heart broken) at the lack of imagination within these poverty-stricken kids whose parents were themselves educationally limited. For example, several of the kids parents could not read nor write or even sign their own names. We had a number of adults using some form of an X to sign their vouchers when receiving assistance from us.
It took these kids to help me realize how insidious poverty can be. From that point forward I made it a priority to try and stimulate and help these kids awaken their imagination and to begin exercising their creative gifts. I will never forget their responses as they began to actually create something from their own imaginations with no help from mine. It was an experience that as I think back I cannot help but to ponder how much light came into the life of those kids as they began to learn to create. Even if it was to simply draw a fish/whale.
I recall reading an article about creativity that spoke about Adam’s creation. Part of it read something like this:
Imagine day six of creation. God has formed the very first man but he lays lifeless. The outer shell has been formed and the body made but there are eyes without sight, ears without hearing, lungs without air, and a heart without a beat. There lay God’s creation jewel the period of His work. Finished?
God’s creation was done. Finished. Finished? Man formed, yes. But finished, no. Creation would not be complete until the first gasp of breath. God had ‘imagined’ how He would create this human and like all artists paused knowing that the work is almost complete but just what does it need added to be finished. Ah, yes, I need to add breath. But how to get breath into the body of His creation? I’ll breath into it and he will become complete.
Creativity challenging and easy….for God. And even frustrating as the Creator God realizes that the human was not finished even when breath and life had been added because he was alone. And so our Triune God created another human to complement and finish His human creation.
I absolutely love the idea that my Creator God did not simply speak Adam and Eve into existence as He did with the rest of creation but He formed us by His hands. Creating us with the abilities to think, reason, feel, and create. Created in His Image.
I love this quote by Max Lucado, “God must’ve had a blast. Painting the stripes on the zebra, hanging the stars in the sky, putting the gold in the sunset. What creativity! Stretching the neck of the giraffe, putting the flutter in the mockingbird’s wings, planting the giggle in the hyena. And then, as a finale to a brilliant performance, He made a human who had the unique honour to bear the stamp, In His Image.”