by: Estefania Thompson
Sometimes we think that a creative person needs to have a great ability for a certain artistic discipline, and although this is in part true, I am convinced that we all can create and relate ourselves to God through this, and we get to reflect on how He is.
Personally, since I was little, I’ve been inclined towards creative activities. I remember that my father subscribed to a painting magazine which I kept looking forward to him receiving each month because when he did, we began to draw and try to imitate some works within. It was a positive experience that helped me to learn that creating is an energizing and very lively activity. When I became a Christian, the act of creating was filled with a new meaning. For me, the love for creating is closely linked to my spirituality. This is something that not everyone identifies with, but let me share a couple of experiences that may show this connection:
I have had the privilege of meeting with students to meditate on the Scriptures and create something from what we learned in a passage. Some students have created melodies, others choreographies, others even memes or stories. And I have discovered something in this: that it’s good for us to meditate more on what we think we learned. I appreciate the traditional process of reading, reflecting, looking for applications to life after reading something about God and His people. But when we allow ourselves to create something from what we think we understand… It encourages us to dig deeper and continue reflecting. I also believe that in this process the Holy Spirit intervenes, and guides us as we ponder how to creatively express, for example, that God covers us with his feathers and, under his wings we find refuge (Psalm 91:4). Our theology can be enriched during the creative process.
Another good experience I remember was when I got together for watercolor painting with a friend. While we were at it, she said she also enjoyed working with clay and that to make something, you have to be patient. It takes a lot of practice to mold clay exactly as you want it. Sometimes the potter lets the clay take its own shape, and when you make several handmade pieces they never look completely the same. It is not an automated process, it is organic...slow. The potter molds firmly and freely at the same time. When she said these things, I couldn't help but think of this idea in Isaiah 64:8 about God being the potter and us being the clay. This passage helps to show the dependence of human beings on God and also reflects a cry of despair, repentance, and a request for help for Israel. This image was much better understood by the original audience, but knowing these details about working with clay gave me a different perspective. I think these creative activities broaden our vision of God and our imagination.
I know that for some personalities this means getting out of the structural and methodical process, which can be disconcerting and a little uncomfortable. Although I am creative, I also like to have some structure. But I think it is a good exercise, from time to time, to remember that God is a Creator, the greatest Artist in the universe, and in Jesus we see this complete and perfect work of love for his creation.
I invite you to meditate on this: Think of your own creative capacity and how you can link it to your vision of God. Perhaps you can start with something really simple like meditating on your process of making dinner! What moves you to make something delicious and nutritious? How can you express love and care through a meal? What can this show us about the character of God as a Maker? In what ways does creation shows us his love? Another more grounded activity could be reading a section of a gospel, and then writing the same story as if you were one of the characters. What would you observe, what parts of the original text do you remember more, and which ones less? There will always be something to learn, and after doing this, surely in the future you will remember elements of this passage with more ease.
I hope these examples and reflections may encourage you to discover more of your creative side, and to see how God speaks through that.