TMD 2016 - DNA - February Week 1 - 19th February 2016 - Made to Create
OMW! This devotional has had such an effect on me!
Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Also, in the verse before, 1:26, it says, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…
Of course, I'd thought about God as Creator, but not necessarily as Creative in respect to His creation of us. So, as I am created in His likeness, my creativity is not simply a gift bestowed upon me, but actually, literally, part of my DNA! A real, integral, part of me, the likeness of God, and made a part of me by God before I came into being! I honestly don't have the words to express the subtle difference in thinking here, but that thought has really been messing with my brain lol - in a good way!
The same thought keeps coming back to me...the good works that were planed for me before my birth, maybe, creating Faith art is part of that plan. Creating on a serious scale I mean, more than just an enjoyable pass time. More like a calling. An imperative. Something that has to come forth and can't be stopped up...
Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I've always considered good works in relation to myself anyway, as the good I can do for others..more a physical good...being there for them, helping in practical ways, putting myself last after the needs of others...
But maybe creating my Faith art is also a way of helping others, of performing good works? I've been so blessed and humbled by the lovely comments HKC peeps (and others!) have made when I post each art piece. Some are so touching, when it seems an image has resonated at just the right time. I've always felt throughout the TMD weeks that each time I create, it's not down to me what appears on the page. Images appear, and I'm no longer frightened of starting a piece with absolutely no idea of how I want to portray the themes, readings, and thoughts I have!
So what if my art is actually a 'good work'?! And I've been putting it on the back burner, creating only when I have time after other things (worthy things though, not time wasting things!) are finished?! What to do with that thought!?!
I think some of the issue is the word 'work' as in 'good works' suggests something that should be perhaps not easy, involves some kind of sacrifice...and creating art is such a pleasurable experience, the two things haven't come together in my head before!
I found this from MacLaren: "Now, do not let us take that phrase, ‘good works,’ which I have already said came hot from the Apostle’s heart, and is now cold as a bar of iron, in the limited sense which it has come to bear in modern religious phraseology. It means something a great deal more than that. It covers the whole ground of what the Apostle, in another of his letters, speaks of when he says, ‘Whatsoever things are lovely and of good report, if there be any virtue’-to use for a moment the world’s word, which has such power to conjure in Greek ethics-’or if there be any praise’-to use for a moment the world’s low motive, which has such power to sway men-’think of these things,’ and these things do. That is the width of the conception of ‘good works’; everything that is ‘lovely and of good report.’ That is what you receive the new life for."
So that for me sums up and really blows wide open the concept of 'good works!'
From the devotional then, some words hit me straight in the heart! Such as:
"We are also called to be Ambassadors of Christ. We represent Him here on the Earth. What we create needs to come out of our intimacy with Him. He inspires us, we create out of that, and then put it out into the world like grains of salt and flashes of light. We are meant to be salt and light in this world, not just through our good works (as it says in Matthew 5:13-16), but in everything we do, including our creative works. Our creations and art can be used by Him to reach out to a lost and dying world."
This also struck such a chord given the way I create: "Michael Card says in his book, 'Scribbling in the Sand: Christ and creativity' --“God is an artist and he is beautiful. He has woven his image into the fabric of our lives, which explains our drive to create things which are beyond us and which we don’t always understand.”"
So! This week's devotional has really given me food for thought and a restless feeling to boot! I keep hearing this little voice wondering if I'm missing something...if I'm not seeing something that is becoming more and more important! I'm not sure what to do next really, other than pray for guidance and see what happens!
if you've read this far, thanks for bearing with me as I work this all out 'on paper' lol! And thank you all for the wonderful encouragement so freely given!