may you create.
In Genesis 2, we read about our Maker stooping low to the ground He had made and forming us in the dust. The word formed in its original language is said to be a synonym for words like earthen and fashion. It is said to mean something along the lines of squeezing into shape. It is akin to the image of a potter working with clay, tirelessly straining his muscles until his creation is complete.
When the figure and form of our very beings had finally come together just right, it says He breathed into our nostrils the breath of life and we became living. The word breathed in its original language is said to literally mean to inflate. It is linked to the image of kindling a fire. I like the idea of the our lungs expanding for the first time not with oxygen, but by God’s sheer breath. And that with that breath we were not just simply given life, but our very souls were set on fire.
Our origin story is one that certainly does not lack creativity. It was the intentional work of two hands covered in dust. It was a creator giving His own breath, putting Himself into to His creation, making us in His own image. It was personal and intimate, much like our own creations.
As someone who hopes to be considered a writer one day, I know all about the personal and intimate ways of creativity and creating. I often joke that my writing is simply my heart being put on paper. That I am incapable of doing anything else.
I think a lot of artists and singers and dancers and poets are like me in this way. I think we create like our Maker. We take our lives and put them into songs, into movements, into rhymes. We put pieces of ourselves into the work of our own two hands. Our hopes and dreams and loves. Our pains and disappointments and aches. These are the things that fuel the creativity of the human race, and creating is the way that we make sense of the depths of our emotions and hearts, of our lives and circumstances.
To share what we create, to share these pieces of our literal selves, is by far one of the most terrifying things in the world. Because they really are an extension of ourselves. And what if someone doesn’t like it? Or worse, what if they don’t understand it? It tends to inevitably feel like they don’t like or understand you.
So as a result, we keep our creativity locked away in fear. We resolve that we aren’t good enough or talented enough to share what we make and do and love. We convince ourselves that failure is destined, so there is no point in even trying. We prove for the thousandth time that we are our own worst critics.
I think our capacity for creativity and creating is important and God-given though. I think it helps others see the vast creativity of God, see His heart for them. That He pursues us both when we create and through the creations of other people. While the methods and madness of them differ, at the core of every creation is something that has the power to connect the hearts of complete strangers, help others feel less alone in this human experience. What we bring into this world not only keeps the fires in our own souls burning, but most importantly has the ability to give Him glory too.
However, creativity even moves far beyond personal art or gain. It is often the starting point for a better world to emerge. Every seemingly crazy invention, innovation, and solution to the world’s problems started out as a spark of creativity. More than that though, it ended with someone being brave enough, bold enough, to actually try to create it, try to make the idea in their head a reality.
I imagine anyone who saw Ben Franklin outside in the middle of a thunderstorm with a metal key tied to the string of a kite would have had a lot of critiques to give that man. But what if he had let fear stand in his way? The world would literally be a far darker place.
Where would we be without the courageous ones? The movers and shakers who took their God-given talents and shared them with the world. Think about the song you listen to when you're in the car with your best friend. Think about the movie you never tire of watching. The athlete you can’t help but scream at the TV for. The poem that moves you to tears. The dance move you like to bust out at parties. Think about the builders and the savers—all the engineers, the architects, the doctors, and more—that played a part in the making of everything we can see and touch. Your house. Your car. The very technology you’re reading this on. Where would we be if all these people never let their unique, God-given creativity run wild and free?
It will always be terrifying to put your creation, your work, your idea out into the world, no matter the form it takes. There will always be the risk of rejection and the possibility of failure. But you were formed by two hands covered in dust. Your lungs were inflated by Creativity himself. We were made in the image of a Maker. We create because we must.
So, I hope you find the courage to find the ways creativity is stirring within yourself. I hope you embrace it warmly, letting it lead you to awe and wonder and connection. I hope you bring some people with you on the journey, that you share what you make, whether that be a few close friends or the entire world. I hope you do the work to hush the inner critic, to crush all the fear that tells you that you don’t have anything worth sharing. Because you do—so create anyway, courageous one.
Make art, build skyscrapers, save the the environment, find the cure to cancer. However creating was uniquely fashioned in you, however creativity individually inflated your lungs—let it run wild and free. Let it be for the glory of the one Him who created you and I to be movers and shakers, builders and savers, from the very beginning.
May you create like our Maker till the end of time.