Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Voice to Create

My daughter was in first grade when her teacher came to me at a school function and said, "I just love seeing what she writes.  She already has a voice!"

That's probably one of the best compliments I could get about one of my children.  Even at the young ages of  9, 7, and 59 days until 5 (He keeps me informed of the birthday countdown), my kids desire to express their unique take on the world as they know it.  They want to create their own stories.  They sing their own songs.  They like starting with a blank piece of paper and turning into a masterpiece of their choosing.  They constantly play what they call the G-A-M-E (Imagination only, no toys required). They love to create and they are finding their unique voice.

Not surprising, considering their parents tend to walk on the creative side of life.  If my husband and I aren't creating something, we tend to lose our joy.  Yeah, I would be that person at work who would have an idea and actually go and ask my boss for permission to make it happen.  Usually resulting in a lot more work than I intended, but I love seeing an idea come into reality.  When I spent a semester in Spain in college, I paid the bouncy little man who owned the music shop a nominal fee just to play his piano in the back room for 30 minutes.  No lessons, no books- just played and sang my heart out.  I'm pretty sure he thought I was nuts, but I'm sure he considered all Americans nuts... My dear husband really can't NOT have a couple projects going at any given time.  Right now there's an almost finished 5' x 9' utility trailer in our garage that he made from scratch.  Why?  Because he wanted one and knew he could figure it out.  (And making it yourself is always cheaper.)  Sometimes we just have to have a home jam session.  Although, that's a bit difficult with three small children afoot.

So yes, we are a family of creators.  Frank and I met serving on a campus ministry worship team, and we've been serving as part of a worship team somewhere ever since.  I feel a kind of kinship to the Levites appointed by David in the Bible whose job it was to make joyful sounds(I Chronicles 15).  Because that's what we do!  And also like David in the Psalms, nothing brings me through the tough times like putting my focus on God and worshipping through music. Or writing. Or making something hideous in play-dough with my kids.  Something about creating sooths the soul and brings life.

I believe that every human is made in the image of God, and part of that is God as Creator.  So in turn...people are creators.  We can't help but create.  It's who we are!  I think there's many people that suppress this in their adult life, rationalizing that whatever they create isn't worthy of a museum and not worth their time.  But whether it's a yummy meal or a beautifully landscaped yard or the perfect spreadsheet solution to a workplace conundrum or making a craft with friends or building a trailer or building a relationship with another human being, we create.  In those creations there is a unique voice to be shared, a single facet among the billion facets of our Creator.  And how I long to be a joyful sound reflecting just a tiny, tiny bit of my Creator's beauty in my creations.

One of my blog friends, Matt Appling, is an art teacher who wrote a whole book on this very thing...(Go visit him! In Life After Art, he describes what happens as we leave the art room as a child, and how our desire to create beauty fades.  For me, this desire never really went away.  I must create.  I simply must.  But...this passage grabbed a hold of me and didn't let go:
"It was exceedingly easier for mankind to fall than it was for God to redeem His beloved and fragile creation from sin.
When resolving to create beauty in the world, remember this: beauty is fragile.  It is precious.  It takes a lot more work to create beauty than it does to destroy it.  Creating beauty will be meaningful but difficult work.  This is not the place for laziness or fearfulness.  And all along the way, ugliness will be crouching at your door, waiting to steal it from you."
So...what are you creating?  What does your creative voice say?  Is it intentional or not? Is it beautiful?  Is it ugly?  Is laziness or fear keeping you from creating?  How is your Creator is reflected in your creations?

He who forms the mountains,
who creates the wind,
and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth
the Lord God Almighty is his name. (Amos 4:13)

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24)

1 comment:

Rachael Phillips said...

Preach it, sistah!

And when my creativity turns dry as the Sahara, I run to the Creator for more!