I sit at a table in a circle of women. We hold paintbrushes and mine might just be trembling the slightest bit. Why does this blank canvas feel so much more intimidating than a blank page? I’m at friend’s house (pre-Covid) and she has invited us to simply make art.
Not a masterpiece. Not something to be hung in a gallery. Just strokes and lines and colors. It’s not about the result at all. It’s about taking time to be creative in the middle of our busy lives.
So I paint a cupcake (anyone surprised?). It’s vibrant with color and texture. I don’t think anyone will want to display it but I like it anyway because it wakes up a part of me that has been asleep. A part of me I’ve missed.
Creativity literally changes us. Scientists used to think after a certain age our brains were set. But being creative actually makes new neurological pathways in our minds. It’s never too late to grow. Research has also shown creativity helps us recover from grief or loss. So as we adjust to our “new normal” as humanity, creativity is one tool that can help.
Creativity isn’t just picking up a paintbrush. It’s essentially anything we do that gets us outside of our comfort zones. Anything we do that brings life into this world. What is that for you? For me it’s writing, baking, a long conversation over coffee with a friend that takes us to unexpected places.
Why is creativity so hard? Because it’s always tied to fear.
Creativity invites us outside the familiar. It opens us up, changes us, challenges us, requires effort, intention and attention. We will not be the same when we finish as when we started. Because literally and symbolically, creativity is so much of what keeps us alive. We have two choices: growth or decline. There is no standing still. When we choose creativity, we reach for life…and the Giver of it.
The God who spun stars into space, who can spread His fingers across the ocean, who knows every sparrow that falls…this is the God who calls you to create with Him. Has there ever been a more beautiful invitation?
Mary Potter Kenyon says in Called to Be Creative…
“The same God that created mountain, stream, and desert beauty, who dotted a night sky with a million points of light, endowed each of us with unique gifts, a calling of sorts. Ephesians 2:10 NLT: ‘We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’
Whether it means producing a piece of art, writing a short story, or simply bringing beauty into our home or into the lives of others, consider for a moment that we each have the capacity to be creative. The masterpiece, then, is not something we create to hang on our wall but something in ourselves as we fulfill our God-given potential, utilizing the talents He gave us.”
God isn’t asking you to make something perfect. He’s simply asking you to be His partner. You pour out creativity and He fills you up in return. Make art today in your own God-given way. That might mean picking up a pen or creating a spreadsheet, laughing with your children or making bread, refinishing cabinets or sending a note to someone you love.
Every act of creativity is redemptive, life-giving, and healing in ways beyond what we can see.
MORE FOR YOU
- This week on More than Small Talk we’re joined by Mary Potter Kenyon, author of Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity. We have a conversation about what creativity really means, why it’s sometimes hard, and how it can help all of us heal in this season. Listen now.
- If writing is a form of creativity you love, my online course Be a Kick-Butt Writer by Friday: Beat the 7 Biggest Mistakes Writers Make So You Can Reach People and Your Creative Potential, will help you take your next steps!