A seed of creativity exists within every believer. Though that seed may often wait dormant, dehydrated, and hidden from the sun, still the potential longs for the light of day.
The desire to observe, interpret, and enhance is inseparable from the human soul. Like the sun-starved seed we seek meaning from experiences. We may even forgo our natural imaginative abilities, seeking our worth vicariously from the lesser lights of our screens, in the sounds and visions of others.
The scriptures first identify God as a Maker. “In the beginning God created-.” The Genesis creation account does not confine God to the role of a totalitarian authority who demands our attention and complete understanding. Rather he is first portrayed as an artist and a gardener. His hands and his breath formed and molded a reflection of his image in the dust. And we are that reflection. He speaks his artistic work into being, and he speaks through his work- and then his creative work speaks to him.
Every human is a creative expression endowed with the capacity to imagine in awe and wonder. And from that place, and in varying degrees and forms, we invent.
Christ did not separate himself from that inventive work of his Father. Although we are quick to recognize he was a great creative healer, he was also a brilliant storyteller and a tradesman who worked with his hands. He didn’t come to abolish the artistic process in exchange for a more “sacred” or “spiritual” vocation. Rather it was all intertwined. His work, his ministry, and even his dying and resurrection were all seamlessly connected as a living art installation.
With every person representing that image of God, and with every Christian imitating Christ, how is it that we followers of Christ relegate our creative process to a narrow set of culturally contrived rules that don’t reflect honesty, adversity, humility, and wild, raw imagination? We settle for a dim (sometimes boring) corner in the garden. We settle for a sterile and saccharine gospel that folds up nicely in a catchy song that we can all passively nod along to in a quick Sunday morning service. The rest of the week we return to our vicarious artificial-light-soaking.
Where is the infant Jesus who was born to an unwed teen mother in a livestock stall? Is there room for him in our art? Where is the zealous Jesus who flipped the money-changers’ tables in the temple? Is he allowed in our songs? Where is the bloody, weakened Christ who stood silent before the authorities who sentenced him to death? Is he the object of our worship?
Sometimes it seems that we only want Jesus to be warm and fuzzy. We want him to plainly explain the meaning of all of his parables. We want to keep him at the last supper; we don’t want him to go to that cross.
But divine creativity is not threatened by the unpredictable unknown. It derives art from it. It finds the metaphor and tells the story.
Maybe the difficult unknown tension is where that creative seed may finally find its ray of light. Perhaps the messy narrative of our lives is the fertile soil ripe for sprouting new ideas.
If only we would let rains of raw honesty and humility soak our dry dusty understanding of grace. To allow the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation to show us that his power is perfected in our weakness and in our brokenness. To show us that the God of the universe who speckled the cosmos with stars and galaxies is not offended by our wildest imaginations. He may be met within.
We are a creative seed sown by the Maker, as Christ too was once a seed sown for us. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”