In my posting this past Sunday I gave thanks for people who give and noted that giving connects us to God. Since humans are created in the image of God we are meant to give. Today I want to give thanks for those who are creative and share their gifts of creativity with others. And here, too, I would suggest that our creativity connects us with God, the ultimate Creator. Inherent in our status as those created in the image of God is our capacity to be creative.
Last night a friend of mine, whom I happen to believe is one of the best photographers there is, sent me a link to a new project he is working on. When I saw the work he has produced using his photographic and computer skills I was blown away. The images I viewed were some of the most creative and beautiful pieces of art I’ve ever seen. My soul was moved by viewing my friend’s creative genius and I found myself giving thanks that God has given to us mortals the capacity for creativity.
I just so happen to be reading a book by Matthew Fox entitled Creativity right now. In this work Fox says “Creativity, when all is said and done, may be the best thing our species has going for it.” Later he goes on to add, “We are creators at our very core. Only creating can make us happy, for in creating we tap into the deepest powers of self and universe and the Divine Self. We become co-creators, that is, we create with other forces of society, universe, and the Godself when we commit to creativity.”
The first thing we learn about God in the Scriptures is that He created the heavens and the earth. As we look at the heavens and the earth we quickly learn that God is not only the Creator but that He is also unbelievably creative. All of Creation bears witness to God’s creativity. To those made in His image God chose to bestow the capacity to likewise be creative. Fox notes that humankind’s capacity for creativity has a dark side; it can be used for evil as well as for good. Needless to say, God’s intention is that we use this gift, along with all His other gifts, for good. After God completed His work on each day of Creation He declared “It is good.” Hopefully we can do the same concerning own own creative efforts.
It is my desire to use my own capacity for creativity for good. I certainly don’t have the same creative genius my photographer friend has but that will not keep me from trying to do the best I can. I think that’s all God expects of us anyway—to take what gifts He has given us and use them to the best of our ability. I know my life has been incredibly blessed by a lot of photographers, poets, painters, sculptors, musicians and writers who have done just that. This Thanksgiving I will pause to offer thanks for their good stewardship of God’s wonderful gift of creativity. You might want to do the same.
(I took the top image at a creek near Frankfort, KY; the middle image at Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico; and the bottom image at Muir Woods in California.)