We are all artists–not just the painters and the actors and the songwriters. Everyone is an artist, just as God Himself is an artist. Technicians, surgeons, mechanics, teachers, lawyers, shop owners, cashiers–they all create something new and impactful every time they show up to work, if they are truly engaged in their work as a calling. Each of us is called to contribute, to reflect the glory of God.
How does God show His glory? By creating. By painting the sky a different palette of pinks and orange each night. By casting a mist of gray over mountains purple in the distance. By designing intricate flowers of scarlet or gold, even the ones nobody notices. And through us most of all–the magic of birth, the joy of children, the intimacy of marriage, the tenderness of old age. God’s glory shines when we become the people He designed us to be.
Why do I let myself get hung up on the created thing–the manifestation of art–when the purpose of creativity is actually the process? The purpose lies in my willingness to participate in what God has made me to do–and doing it to reflect His characteristics over mine.
Consider these powerful observations by Emily P. Freeman in A Million Little Ways, which my book club read this month (I’m obsessed with this book now!):
“The bottom line is, I am a glory hog. I don’t want to reflect the image of God, I want to embody it. And that is why I fear the critics. It’s because they say out loud what I most fear in my heart. They remind me that I am not God after all.” (93)