For Glory and for Beauty

Vermeer’s Milkmaid.

The very impulse to create is divine.

This is likely not a great revelation. I mean, works like the Sistine Chapel and The Last Supper fairly shout “GOD!”, don’t they? Or anything by Vermeer, a personal favorite.

But what about you? And me?

The very impulse to create is divine. Although we may agree with this idea, the results of those impulses are often assigned the second-rate status of hobby.

And it’s a shame.

This has been a personal struggle. For years I viewed a love for writing and books and language as a secret pleasure to be indulged only when every other duty and responsibility was fulfilled. I did not create a writing life.

And it was a mistake.

In her little book, Walking on Water, writer Madeleine L’Engle speaks eloquently to this point. She proposes that we have been losing that “willingness to know things in the deepest, most mythic sense.”  Don’t think she’s getting all woo-woo here.  “Unless we are creators,” she states firmly, “we are not fully alive.”  L’Engle cared for both her family and her art by determinedly creating a life where she moved between the stove and the typewriter.

In Exodus 28, the garments of the high priest were to be made for “glory and for beauty.” Artisans were filled with the “spirit of wisdom . . . in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works.” Women gifted in the arts of spinning and fine fabrics had “hearts stirred with wisdom.”

Having spent years diligently honing their crafts, God now took those efforts, overshadowed them, and created a thing of beauty for His glory in the middle of a vast desert.

We all know people who

paint

or draw

or sew

or write,

who may scrapbook,

garden,

decorate,

remodel,

or maybe repair things,

cook,

write music,

play an instrument

– only if they can steal a little time to retreat to the backyard, or a room, or the garage, and lock the door. You may be one of those people. Will your paintings ever be displayed? Possibly never.  Will your songs ever be published? Maybe not. But the exercising of those gifts is a God-thing. We know exactly what Olympic runner and future missionary Eric Liddell meant when he said with such passion: “When I run, I feel His pleasure.”

We do it because it stems from a divine impulse.

We do it for glory and for beauty.

We do it, indeed, for the pleasure of God.

So dust off your gift. Stop calling it a hobby. Or a guilty pleasure. Assign it the value it deserves. And get going.

God’s waiting.

Are you allowing your creative impulses to give God glory? If  not, why not?

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One response to this post.

  1. Love it! The ultimate creator created us as creative beings as well. We express the beauty of our creator through our art. Thanks Sister Deb for this great post!

    Reply

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