05 August, 2016

Creativity and Christianity

I came across a couple of articles about creativity ages ago and have just dragged them back out of my bulging "draft blog post" folder.

I love the work I do, I've got the freedom to use my gifts to be creative as well as to build others up. So these short articles are very encouraging to me.

The first article I found has an enormous title: Why Christians should paint, dance, quilt, act, compose music, write writes, decorate cookies, and participate in the arts. It lists eight reasons why Christians should be creative. I bet you can think of more, though I wouldn't have thought of these eight if I'd made the list, for example, "beauty reminds us of the Beautiful One" and "when we use our gifts it reminds us (and others) of the Giver of every good and perfect gift". 

Here are some of the creative things I like to do, and why:

  • I love to bake as it gives to others, but I also find it very satisfying to work through a series of steps and get a defined result. I actually find it relaxing if I'm not rushed. 
  • I love enjoying nature (with and without a camera) because it reminds me of the Creator and lifts my eyes and heart up beyond my current problems. When I share my photos (and blog posts too, I guess) it give pleasure to others and takes them to a place of admiring the work of the Creator too.
  • I love to write because it's a gift I have and I can use it to encourage or challenge or inform others. A bit like baking, I like to have ideas and work to get them written down in a way that others can appreciate and enjoy. Editing writing is similar, whether it is my work or someone else's, taking the "raw ingredients" and forming them into something that will benefit others is very satisfying.
  • I loved doing cross stitch, it was a relaxing pastime. But also something that I found easy and could create things that I could give to others to give them pleasure. I've taken a break from it in the last year or so, but unfortunately haven't found a viable replacement yet.

This second article (Three things I know about creativity) is by a writer and editor (sounds like someone I know...). She writes about three things that creativity needs:
  • to live life: so we have fuel for stuff to create as well as to create space for creative thoughts to form and arrange themselves
  • solitude: peace for our souls to be able to commune with God
  • community: for refinement, feedback that improves whatever it is that we've created.
I've only just scratched the surface here, I know there's lots more to this topic than I'm seeing or could cover in one tiny blog post. For example this fascinating article from Relevant magazine asking "Is there a place for creative Christians?" with answers by a variety of creative Christians.

It's something I'd like to keep thinking about. As a writer and an editor and an individual who enjoys a variety of creative endeavours.

What do creative things do you enjoy? Why?


Cathy Bennett said...

I've tried so many crafts, maybe only once (producing one finished project), but crocheting has become my number one craft. I find though that I have to keep changing the project as I become easily bored working the same colours over and over.

Let's see what I can remember: cross stitch, beading, embroidery, patchwork, quilting, drawing, jewellery making, origami, card making... so many more.

The base motivation in everything I've done has been to bless others while keeping myself busy using what talents God has given me. Ive actually got very few examples of all these crafts and ultimately hours and hours of work but in my memory and in my heart I have the joy I have brought to others with my gifts. I love giving & seeing someone's smile, anonymous giving is the ultimate for me.

Wendy said...

The difficulty I have with crochet is that I'm so ADHD, I lose count all the time and lose motivation therefore, because I have trouble finishing anything. But yes, the joy of giving a gift is thrilling even though that isn't my main love language. I don't like doing craft for the sake of just doing a craft. Producing something that's will just be put away in a drawer isn't my idea of a good use of my time.