Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning, God created…”
In a previous post, I mentioned that for a while I struggled about my place in God’s work. Unlike a lot of people, I am not multi-talented. I don’t excel in many things except one, which is writing. I’ve come to terms with that, I am at peace with that (haha), but it frustrated me that it didn’t feel enough. I didn’t feel enough.
I was a well, and I was dried up.
Humans are insatiable creatures, so I searched for more meaning, as existential as that sounds. There’s got to be a reason why I think like this, why song lyrics are a big deal to me, why I like sitting down to write, why I actively look for beauty everywhere, why I love creating. There’s got to be a reason, and I know that reason is beyond me, infinitely bigger than me, and it exists to serve a purpose a whole lot better than just making me happy.
All my searching (and fidgeting, screaming, pounding) led me back to the first page of the Bible. The very first verse. “In the beginning, God created…”
Before creation, before time as we know it, God simply was. God existed. He was in the beginning in the way we understand beginnings, although He is not bound by that. At one point He acted on something, He worked, He created.
The very first verse in the bible is “created“.
Verse after verse we find the splendor of the account of how the newborn universe stretched its arms and yawned for the first time. We alternately see these words in action – God created, God called, God said, Let there be. A Maestro was at work, music and dance and growth spilling everywhere, out to the large expanse, which previously had not existed, but here it is now, beautiful and sprawling and green and deep blue; in between breaths and days God repeatedly called everything good.
And on the sixth day, God created man.
Genesis 1:31 – God saw all that he had made, and it was very good..”
God is a Creator God.
This is basic knowledge but it came to me as fresh revelation. My God, who reigns over everything and rules everything and is never in need of anything – is a God who works with His hands and thinks up ideas and creates. Wow.
That was the first burst of cold water filling up this well. God made man in His likeness. This is why my hands itch to create. To write. To tell stories. Because that is what He does.
In Pope John Paul II’s letter to creatives (a worthy read! Study it!), the Pope said;
God therefore called man into existence, committing to him the craftsman’s task. Through his “artistic creativity” man appears more than ever “in the image of God”, and he accomplishes this task above all in shaping the wondrous “material” of his own humanity and then exercising creative dominion over the universe which surrounds him. With loving regard, the divine Artist passes on to the human artist a spark of His own surpassing wisdom, calling him to share in His creative power.
God has endowed man with creativity – a spark of His own surpassing wisdom. Obviously, we can never outwit God, we can’t create something out of nothing, the way He did in creation, but we’ve been blessed with a spark that can grow into a tender fire, warm, where men used to gather round telling stories about hunting; a spark that can grown into huge flames, which the blacksmith uses to bathe his metals to turn them into beautiful swords; a spark that has birthed era after era, movement after movement of sculpture and paintings and poetry and prose and music and dance–
As you see, I am passionate about this. God doesn’t need us to create, but He calls us to it. He calls us to participate and get our hands dirty alongside His hands. He has invited us to His studio to paint, to draw, to dance, to sing, to write, not because we can contribute beauty He hasn’t already placed on earth; but because He is a loving God who calls us into communion with Himself. Like He is saying, Come, create with me.
Maybe somebody needs to hear this today, so here:
Hey, creative. You’re not weird or selfish for wanting to paint for the rest of your life. Or sing. Or draw. Or write. If your hands itch to create, that just says a lot about your Heavenly Father. Who knows, maybe He’s calling you to it. Maybe something you’re about to create has a divine purpose. Where there maybe confusion for you, I pray for increasing clarity. Where they may be fear, I pray boldness. If you are lost, and maybe you feel your desires are misplaced, I pray God reveals Himself to you, because He is the source, the root, the wellspring.