I remember when I was young, quite young – that I loved to draw, paint and to make pictures. Not much time passed until I realized that I was not as good as others were. I learned this from several indicators but that is not what today is about. As time passed, I quit drawing and painting, but I never stopped admiring the work of others. Their work was not perfect either, but I admired their effort. And their bravery? For putting their work “out there.”
I have always appreciated beauty found in all the senses. As I grew in knowledge of the Scriptures, I became convinced that this was not a flaw in my character. Appreciating beauty is not shallow. More on that “beau-tea” thing in coming weeks. Today I want to share some of the verses that convinced me that God honors creativity; God created creativity!
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31). People have always been inspired to attempt to capture the beauty of God’s creation. History and archeology bear this truth. It is very good and magnificent! I love green, for example. Green in so much more than the color in the Crayon box. In fact, I am not sure that particular shade of green is found in nature! But, oh, the shades of green are vast and to my eyes, very different. God created me to recognize and enjoy the differences. The first thing we learn about the God of the universe is that He is a creator and that He deemed His work very good. God examined His own work; He enjoyed it.
“And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.” (Exodus 35:30-33) God gave them wisdom and understanding to create beauty in the sanctuary. We can all create if we desire to. God provides the wisdom, and I would surmise, the inspiration!
“And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.” (Exodus 35:34, 35) These verses validate beautiful work and skilled workmanship and their place in our lives.
“Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” (Psalms 33:3) Beautiful music is created for our pleasure. This verse reminds me that we need to practice in order to be skillful. God can think what He wants to create into being, but we cannot. We imagine it, then after much practice and effort, something like we imagined begins to take shape, the beauty of the process. Beautiful music, as with all creation is intended for pleasure to the glory of God.
Today I am sharing more Scripture than usual, but this ensures more value and strength to what I encourage you with. God is creative. He created creativity! He created us to enjoy and practice creativity. There is is learning curve, and He is one of the teachers. Spending your time in creativity is not frivolous, but we are intended to share our creative efforts for others to enjoy and perhaps, for their inspiration.
The verses above speak of music, sculpture, embroidery, weaving, engraving and other cunning work. (Think of cunning work as inventive or creative work; perhaps original.) Now, to get up close and personal: How are you creative? What kinds of creativity do you admire? Is there an art form you have considered trying? How might you learn? Do you need equipment? Can you create something with what you already have?
Throughout my life I have thought of trying many things, but did not. My reason and its cousin – the excuse are related, you see. Fear of failure, that I would not be good enough combined with laziness I suspect. Indecision to choose something creative; I don’t know what to do, so I think about it, and do nothing.
Recently I made a comment to Lois that I decided to learn watercolor because I don’t do anything creative and I should not put this off. Her response surprised and inspired me. I am still thinking about her response. She began listing things that I do regularly that require creativity. How enlightening; others see things in us we do not see ourselves.
I want to increase learning, but painting? Funny thing, I am no longer inhibited by doing something that is not as good as someone else’s. If I compare my work, it is to examine, to learn, to improve. I don’t have to be the best, but I want to improve. This past Christmas a friend set me up with all I needed to begin learning and practicing watercolor. Two little birdies, that I shall name Lois and India, told her of my interest in watercolor. Her gift is encouragement in action! I have painted 4 or 5 times since Christmas and date my creations, which are all practice pages.
I have progressed. Watercolor is a good choice for me and the way God created me. I am not a perfectionist. Watercolor is literally fluid and the results do not entirely rely upon my skill, though increasing skill will surely add to pleasure and results.
Back to you: Undeniably, you are a creative being. How is your creativity manifest? Do you share it with others? “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” (Luke 11:33). Consider creativity in light of this verse.
My home is graced by things others have created. Hand-painted china. Hand-pieced quilts. Paintings. Music created by loved-ones. Tatted handkerchiefs. Embroidered linens. These are some of the things that have inspired me to create a home from a house. We live in a house, but it is the home that gives meaning.
Is the creative part of our life committed to Christ? Christ is the Lord of our whole life and the Christian life should produce not only truth—flaming truth—but also beauty. Francis A. Schaeffer
Just a nibble today, the recipe tomorrow.
My Paisley (my granddaughter) will spend a night with me this weekend to celebrate her birthday. That is an “event” and calls for a little extra creative-tea. We will do a brunch, featuring tea and crumpets.
I will write a special post about my plans for her sleepover, so simple, but I hope we will make a memory to be treasured always. Will share pictures on Instagram next week!
Valentines Day is coming… you might want to consider heart-shaped crumpets for your Valentine. Made these recently, to make sure I had not forgotten how to.