I recently read Vinita Hampton Wright’s book, “The Soul Tells a Story.” In it she talks about how creativity is frightening and can make us uncomfortable. It can, too. Sometimes I am too afraid to write poetry. I want to write a poem, but I’m afraid to dive in. I’m frightened of that place in my soul and my mind. It’s so deep that I’m almost afraid I won’t be able to get back out again.
I ordered a bunch of books about the intersection of Christianity and creativity. A couple are old favorites, but some are new. There were a bunch more I wanted, but I’m going to have to wait to get those. I am fascinated by the intersection of Christianity and the creative life. There’s a seminary program I’m interested in that centers around that very subject. It’s worship arts. However, I can’t spend a year in Dallas, so it simply isn’t going to work out.
When we create, we are being like our Creator. There is immense power that flows through us onto the page or the canvas. People talk so much about mirroring God and they mention so many great things, like mercy, justice, and sacrifice. But they leave out a key component. If you want to be like your Creator you must create. My drive to create poetry comes from my Creator. Most of my individual poems come from Him too, even when they aren’t on religious subjects.
We are made in the image of God in so many ways, and this is definitely one primal, fundamental way we are made to be like God. Create a new recipe in the kitchen. Draw a portrait. Write a poem. Write a novel. Scrapbook. Make digital art. Dance. I believe we are stronger mentally and spiritually when we engage in some kind of creative outlet. God calls each of us to do things a different way. Human beings are like snowflakes – no two are alike. Although it is a cliche that has embedded itself indelibly in our cultural psyche, it is true.
Lately I’ve been so creative that I think I’ve been overwhelming people. I’ve been writing poem after poem. I’ve made dozens of faith collages – collages where I take beautiful art and photography I find online, make collages out of them, edit them, and add Bible verses. I am bombarding my blog and my Instagram. I can’t hardly help myself. Sometimes I am more creative, sometimes less. But right now my cup overfloweth. I know at some point I’ll hit a wall and need to rest my head for awhile, but until I’m there I’m going to create as much as I possible can. I may start creating abstract alcohol ink paintings, which are my favorite. I actually bought a little alcohol ink painting on tile when we were on vacation and I love it. It is in my curio cabinet. I think I’ll do alcohol inks when I’m done with collages for awhile.
Right now I am so deep in creativity that I am wearing my mind out. I have allowed myself to dive all the way in, to fall into the glittering abyss of creative passion. I am expressing myself and dying to myself at the same time. My creativity runs me. It is as though I am a mere conduit for ideas that come from somewhere outside of me, and I think they are from above.
Sometimes you have to create for you or for a few friends. I know some people, even many people, don’t like my collages. Not every one likes loud colors, especially so many bright images together – and I edit images to be loud! But I love them, and I make them for me as an act of worship to God. They reflect my joy in Him, and my personality. I share them because a few other people seem to like them and if even one person enjoys the scripture or the images I will be grateful.
Create something for God. Create something for you. Create something to share with other people. The more art, literature, dancing, and theater there is in the world, the better the world will be.