Earlier this year I read The Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse: A Book for Creators by Michael Gungor (yes, that Gungor), a sort of manifesto on how Christians should, and must, embrace creativity. Michael's thesis, rooted in Genesis 1:27, claims that since humans are made in the image of God (the capital "c" Creator) then it follows that we are all destined to be lowercase "c" creators. As you may guess, I got on board with that idea real fast. A gorgeous, rousing bit from the benediction of the book:
"You are the body of Christ, the light of the world. Pick up your hammer. Your brush. Your trumpet. Your skillet. Your pen. Lift up your head. And walk. Run. Dance. Fly. The great Artist, the future God, calls you into being. So go into your world, your valley, your garden, and create with His grace and in His peace. Amen."
I think every person, every single little image of God bopping around this planet, mimics characteristics of our Creator. In our own small ways, we are providers, caregivers, justice-seekers, warriors, crop-growers, beast-tamers, fathers, mothers, avengers, and artists. That last one resonates with me in particular since I am an artist in the traditional sense. I would venture to say that we are all artists because we are all God-images. Yes, even you. Some of us manifest our creativity more loudly than others, but we are each wired to turn chaos into order. This endeavor is the theme of history: agriculture, orchestras, assembly lines, battle plans, liturgies, child-bearing, Instagram, and apple pie are all products of the need to create. To be a human is to be a maker.
There is nothing I love more than creating. You could call me a serial creator, in fact. This blog is essentially just a testament to my attention-deficient hopping from creative hobby to creative hobby. Ceramics, woodworking, painting, chalking, photography, calligraphy, videography, tattoos, dip dyeing, embroidery, and jewelry making have made my agenda recently. But my latest (and perhaps greatest) venture is... QUILTING! I have joined the proud ranks of the blue haired at the tender age of twenty-two. And I could not be more okay with that.
I'm fairly certain that I am making half of my quilting techniques up, but it's okay. My hands are moving and my brain is sparking and my soul is growing. In a day when so much life happens on a little phone screen and so much creation is made of pixels that cannot be touched or held, creating a quilt (or a ceramic mug or a flower garden or a pot roast) feels like something worthy of celebration. When I sew those stitches, I am doing what I was made to do. I, the created, am creating.
God, the Almighty Artist, painted an infinite swathe of inky blue universe and sprinkled it with glittering stars. God, the Good Grower, scattered the seeds of the sequoias and watered the thirsty jungles. God, the Master Architect, fashioned the Himalayas and crafted the human neuron. God, the Omnipotent Poet, provided history's greatest plot twist with the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Everything He does is a form of art. In some tiny way, I can relate to Him when I paint and garden and build. And I think that's the point. When we create, we stir to life the imago dei within us. When we create, we glorify the Creator.
Today I challenge you to create something, no matter how small. Remember, you were made to make.