At sometime or another, nearly every parent’s refrigerator starts to resemble an art gallery. We take the wonderful, if not fully recognizable, artistic renderings our children produce and put them on display on the ‘fridge door. But I think my Father in heaven doesn’t have much of my artwork on his ‘fridge. Why not? Because long ago I stopped producing any artwork for him to display.
I am blessed to have a delightful two-year-old granddaughter, Anna. She recently got her hands on a harmonica and delights in “playing” her harmonica and dancing — in her mind dancing is integral to playing the harmonica! Seeing her play and dance made me think.
I have several harmonicas. They sit in a box, unused. I used to play them. I tried to teach myself — to become at least proficient, but in the end I convinced myself that I’d never be very good and stopped trying. I put my harmonicas away. I’ve done the same thing with other musical instruments and with painting and even with my writing. In each case, I convince myself that I am “not that good” or not “good enough.”
But a two-year-old knows something I have forgotten: the point of playing the harmonica is to enjoy being creative; it is not to impress others with our skill. Anna plays and dances with abandon, deep in the joy of creative expression.
Our God is a creative God. Since we are made in his image, we too are to be creative. It is part of our design. When we stifle our creative urges we keep a part of ourselves, the creative part made to create, play, sing and dance, from God. We keep ourselves from being all we are intended to be.
If you feel like painting, paint. If you feel like writing poetry, write poems. If you’d like to dance, dance. It doesn’t matter if anyone else ever sees or hears your creative expression. And if you feel like playing the harmonica and dancing, follow Anna’s lead and do it with gusto and joy!
Don’t be surprised if God starts to commune with you through your creative impulses. We are told be childlike in our relationship with the Lord — to come to Jesus as little children. Part of being childlike means to stop censoring our creativity; stop being self-conscious and self-critical. Take joy in creative expression simply because you are enjoying this God-given part of your nature. Create some masterpieces for your Father to enjoy on his refrigerator.