And He said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Analyzing the speech of most believers, you’ll find a strange device on our tongues: Christianese. We sound like we’re stuck in the King James version of reality, trying to make the world around us understand how good God is by employing the verbal equivalent of an 8-track. It’s old, it’s tired, and it’s too stinking familiar to be of much use.
Fall is a beautiful time to dream big, try big, and even fail big. I just finished up a free online art class that included some ways to view the world creatively. The instructor suggested taking walks in nature, paying attention to the different kinds of light you’ll encounter: filtered through changing leaves, dappling the surface of water, turning golden as the sun sets, billowing soft in the mist. You should try it sometime—you’ll discover a whole new way of seeing.
This month we’ve focused a lot on making stuff, on echoing our Creator in His rhythm of bringing beauty from chaos. We’ll wrap up the theme by taking a look at how the Proverbs 31 woman, that brave lady of valor, uses her creativity. Keep in mind that while we are to find inspiration in her, we aren’t expected to become her carbon copies. Mrs. P can play out in our lives a thousand different ways. But here are the general principles the Lord establishes through our lovely big sister:
Shhhh! Can you keep a secret? I have found a golden nugget, and because we are friends, I’d like to share it with you. May I? Tucked snugly into the second chapter of the Bible is a Hebrew word that gives validity (and purpose) to the task of creating.
Think about your top five favorite things to do. I’d bet they were all a bit daunting before you jumped in and tried them. Some may even have taken time for you to grow to love. But since they fall into your present faves list, grow to love them you did.
Can we be real for a minute? For most adults, creativity is daunting.
There’s no time to get creative like spring. Nature bursts into dizzying color all around, and those many delicious rainy days beg for something to be splashed across a canvas. What a brilliant opportunity to hunt for gifts! This month, let your inner artist loose. Whether you’re 100% comfortable with your creative prowess or you can’t draw a stick person, a slice of beauty is just waiting to be made by you. Don’t worry about the “audience;” there doesn’t even have to be one. In the words of John Reuben, “I create for the Creator, not to impress you.” Step away from the need to impress and lean into the ability to experiment. The entire season is ripe for the picking!
Of all the aspects of freedom, this is the one I have personally latched onto the most as I’ve entered adulthood. It might be tempting for you to write off this post if you don’t see yourself as particularly artistic. Please don’t. There is something incredible the Lord would like to show you: you are art, and you make art. Scripture calls you God’s masterpiece, and we are made in the image of our Creator—the Creator. As such, we create. For you, it may not be detailed paintings or divine music. It might be the best sandwiches on the block. The brightest smile at your next customer. A glimpse of Christ dazzling through a note of encouragement.