As I write this, autumn is in the air. With it comes a total transformation in nature. Green stands out in concert with bold reds, gold, and sunset orange as leaves let go.
I smile to myself on my jog and recall that in high school, I used to say that God’s favorite color must be green. After all, everything in nature relies on varying shades of green, from leaves to grass blades to flower stems. Perhaps, though, I admired a special connection since I was also fond of the color.
But instead of letting the season remain green, He called on bright colors that evoke nostalgia, and later God will bring flourishing blooms when spring rains come.
Nature’s ever-changing landscape has always inspired me. I always fantasized about how creative God must be if nature itself was so beautiful. The environment is full of delicate balance, the different facets of nature maintaining harmony with one another in a complicated dance. So, wouldn’t one call to mind God in charge of these routines like a conductor, leading these dances?
What I was taught
Growing up, I was taught about the mystery of creation.
I know I’m not supposed to get it. My human brain isn’t supposed to grasp how quickly the story of creation seems to wrap up. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” But I know God is more profound than these simple words.
When my human eyes read these words, I try to package it all into my understanding of a 40-hour work week. It’s hard for me to understand how God created every single one of these fragile ecosystems everywhere – in the oceans, in the sky, and on the land in that amount of time. Scripture tells us an entire day was dedicated to creating hundreds of creatures. And while I know He surely could *snap* everything into existence, I know that couldn’t possibly sum up all of the ingenuity that exists in creation’s narrative.
After all, isn’t He constantly creating and recreating us all still today?
Taking His time
When I think of my Creator God, I see someone who gets His hands dirty and takes His time.
I can imagine a picture of God sitting down with a dirty apron on, firing up His pottery wheel, and slapping down a lump of mud. And from there, His hands would form the best parts of humanity; His thumbs would create the curve of eyes that lead to souls. The rise of mouths that offer words to bridge divides and smiles to brighten someone’s day. And the final touch of God’s own breath, the measured breath of life that numbers our days but makes them all the more treasured.
I know it is an abstract notion of creation, but this vision has really resounded with me. It scratched the itch that I had never settled in my adolescence and answered questions I didn’t even realize I had. Psalm 19:1 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” The act of creation is musical. God’s work sings of His artistry even now.
Regardless of my not knowing what exactly happened at the beginning of time, I find peace with a Creator who took pleasure in building the world around us and spent painstaking, precise hours perfecting every creature.
Getting my own hands dirty
As an artist myself, I relate with the concept of a God who crafts as He creates, who takes time to shape rather than simply snapping something into existence. And I find a deep connection with this Creator through using my own creative talents as well. Sure, my hands are capable of nothing more than shadows compared to the one who formed the universe—but the work is still meaningful to me.
I find a unique way of praising God through exercising art, using my hands to paint or smear graphite across the paper. And when I tire of my hands, I turn to performing theater and using my voice to sing.
With each painstaking hour that I spend on a sketch, a painting, or crafting a character performance on stage, I reflect on how grand the creation project is. How purely dedicated a creator must be to an all-consuming process. And even more, I feel a sense of affinity with my all-powerful Creator through my artwork.
I use my time when creating as a time to reflect on my spiritual identity, and I consistently find a sense of who I am. I feel connected to God when I am using my talents. After all, He is the infinite Creator. I am made in His image. And now I am exercising that creativity He shared with me.
This thinking and activity has encouraged me to break out and find a personal connection with God. I could bow my head to pray or communicate with Him through His Word and grace. And I can also sit in silent comfort as we work together. I can have a conversation with my Creator as if we are old pals meeting in our mutual workspace. I give my hands something to focus on and let my inhibitions go.
It has become important to me to have a tangible relationship with my Creator. It exemplifies to me how carefully and wonderfully each of us is made.
I meet God as a reflection of the ultimate Creator in my creative work. This is the beautiful spiritual work He calls me to every day.
And it is in this capacity He meets me.