Thoughts on Creativity
We’re encouraged to not count our days… but to make our days count!
Among God’s most precious gifts to us is the creative capacity He’s placed in each person. The fifth word of Genesis reveals God as Creator. We learn later (in Genesis 1:27) that as creator, he has embedded His imago dei (the Image of God–His nature & character) into each one of us. The result is that every individual, in deeply personal ways, is offered a reflection of the precious, God-breathed creativity that ignited and fills all of creation. Creativity is deeply embedded in each person, resulting in endless variation and possibility. To create and to be creative lies at the heart of human flourishing.
I believe for us to be intentional in our actions and conversant in an understanding and theology of the Image of God today is as important (and perhaps as risky) as proclaiming the theology of Salvation by Faith was in the days of the reformation. Both are still just as true today, but no longer will the authorities and the organized church come after you for the latter.
Collaborating as Community
Creative engagement is rooted in community… actually knowing and loving our neighbors.
Collaboration consistently ranks among the most rewarding and significant of human activities. People join together, searching for that which is beautiful and inspiring. Consider the activities throughout the world that involve singing and playing music together, painting murals together, feasts and eating together, festivals, celebrations, but also our work together to address shared problems and needs.
Over the decades I’ve I cherished the opportunity to work on collaborations to build community parks, hiking trails, playgrounds, treehouses, climbing walls and community food gardens; or where communities faced natural hazards or grinding poverty and high child mortality, to collaborate on building water tanks and developing clean water systems, micro-enterprise start-ups, improved food security; to train health workers and establish community-based Health Centers and Community Emergency Response Teams. These activities were simply an outgrowth of our conviction that God has good intentions for all, today. They are part-and-parcel of His good news!
Working in community builds wisdom and unity, as our unified (but not uniform) creative voices offer evidence of our shared convictions and hope.
And I pray everyday that I would be looking for God’s fingerprints in the lives and world around me, that as Jesus said, “I want to only do what God is doing.” God’s on the move and at work at every level of society and creation. He delights to hide things. We’re to delight in seeking them out… in learning new things and perspectives, in recognizing, fanning it into flame and trying to reflect the Image of God–His beauty, His nature and character.