By Sarah Logan
“We have come from God and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed, only by myth-making, only by becoming a ‘sub-creator’ and inventing stories, can Man ascribe to the state of perfection that he knew before the fall.” – J.R.R.Tolkien
Though Tolkein is referring specifically to the creative act of story-writing, the same principle applies to any and all efforts to create art.
God’s Word to us opens with a narrative–about God, about us, and the world we inhabit. God is telling us something significant: he is a Creator. And we, made in his image, carry his likeness not only in how we go about tending the soil of our lives, but in how we creatively express and seek to mimic his artistry.
It is easy to think in terms of us-them when it comes to creativity and artful expression. I, for one, consider myself quite UN-artistic. I admire artists, but I look at them as ‘other’ and ‘not me.’ Yet, perhaps God has things to show me that can only be known, felt, experienced, and discovered, via a handful of colored pencils, fabrics, yarn, scribbled words, a few notes strung together on an instrument, or other sundry materials. Perhaps in exploring creativity and artistic expression I can discover something of the beauty of God and the creativity that lies dormant in me.
It may be that I never produce a single work of art, writing, or music that is worth anyone else’s time to view, read, or hear. Art, as an experiential process, where one is not fixated on the product or outcome, may just be an avenue of spiritual connection and growth that has yet to be pursued.
It will take time, effort, patience, and even a significant dose of courage to dabble in art for a novice. But it’s undoubtedly worth it, worth digging for buried treasure. After all, the God whose creativity produced my unique ‘self’, may have placed in me a glimmer of his creative Self. If that is the case, I will never know unless I try.
Would you join me to exercise this atrophied muscle? Will you discover with me an aspect of God and his beauty by exploring art? I anticipate being surprised by what I find. Jesus says, “Seek and you will find.”
Let’s seek the beauty of God and his creative image in us through art exploration.
Sarah Logan lives in West Chicago with her husband, five kids (two in college), sister-in-law and mother-in-law, and two Chihuahua mutts. When not writing/blogging or practicing spiritual direction, she may be found whipping together an exotic meal–never using a recipe–and inviting anyone who happens to be around to stay for dinner.