I’m crafty. I admit it. And I’m not a simple one type of craft kind of crafter. I am an equal opportunity crafter. Pinterest and our local Hobby Lobby are a dangerous combination for me. All it takes is a cute pin, and I’m game for trying a new crafting medium. Yarn? Check. Paper crafting? Check. Soap making? Check. The list goes on and on. But it really isn’t about making crafts. It is about creating, and that can be done with craft projects, music, food, photography, writing, or any number of other pursuits. To make something new from the individual parts, to make something beautiful or playful or thought provoking, that is the whole point. There is something relaxing and satisfying about the creative process.
The professor in Kristen Heitzmann’s A Rush of Wings sums it up well when he describes to Noelle St. Clair what he saw when he watched her paint. He tells her he saw more than mere technical proficiency. He saw “someone in love with the beautiful” who sought some piece of the human spirit and maybe even the divine. This woman was on the run from her fiancé, the guarded life her father provided, and memories she couldn’t quite piece together. She fled to a completely new environment and way of life. She struggled with those around her and with herself. But in the midst of chaos and emotional fragility the heroine of the story turned to creating. True, she ended up selling some of her work, but that was only because her circumstances demanded it. She created because she couldn’t do anything else. And giving in to the creative process was a first step in doing exactly what the professor said, finding a piece of her spirit and a little more about God.
Why wouldn’t creating bring us closer to God? God is the one who invented the creative process, and when we do the same, I believe we can understand Him better. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) God took nothing and made everything we see and the things we can’t see. In fact, as beautiful as our world is now, it is a shadow of what it was in the beginning. Before the fall, everything was perfect. How much more beautiful would our world have been in its perfect state? I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like. God looked at everything He created and saw that “it is good.” I don’t know if God sighs, but if He does, I can imagine He breathed the most satisfied sigh as He considered all He made. It was complete. It was perfect.
While the results of our creativity will never be perfect, we can still appreciate their beauty and the satisfaction that comes with creating something. And in the process we may also learn something about ourselves and about our creator God.
By the Book: Everyone can find some way to exercise their creativity. Whether it is creating a new recipe, painting a masterpiece, writing a poem, or making a wreath, take time to create something this week. If this is too daunting, find an adult Bible verse coloring page to print off the internet. The act of choosing which colors will go in which area is basic creativity. Before you start your project, read Genesis chapter one for God’s creation story. Pray and meditate on it as you work on your own creative project.