“God is constantly creating, in us, through us, with us, and to co-create with God is our human calling.”
– Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water, 81.
I was once an Irish dancer (yes, like Riverdance), and I loved it. Rhythm, discipline, energy, and sheer joy characterized the experience of creating and participating in something fresh and powerful. I’ve also played the guitar (affectionately known as the guit-fiddle by my closest friends), written and sang some songs (especially in high school where the emotions flowed incessantly), dabbled in some writing, and built some fantastic relationships with some really amazing people. All of these things have something in common: they all require the participant to be both creative and creatively involved. They require time, patience, discipline, and energy, and, in return, give back a measure of delight and contentment.
We were created as Image. And, as Image, we share in the qualities of our Father, and certainly one of those qualities we share with Him is that of creativity and creation. We yearn to create in song and in dance, in poetry and in prose, in relationship and in love, and we also yearn to participate in the process; we find joy in being caught up in the newness, mystery, and coming together of a thing. This is the Image flowing through us, coming out of us, longing to get loose and do what it itself was created to do: enjoy, fashion, overflow, and express. We long to pour ourselves into activities that, in turn, mirror and speak back to us the joy we imparted in giving life to them. Some of us do this through parenting, others through medicine or teaching. Still, others do this in writing or in thinking, at the ballet bar or on the football field. The point is this: we were made to channel the Image we are into creativity and creation. When our Creator created, He uniquely bestowed upon humanity the passion, drive, and ability to do the same. We were created to spend our time and energy pouring ourselves out, which is really a pouring out of Him, into other things, fashioning them, perfecting them, molding and nurturing them into something unique and beautiful.
Take away our opportunities to each, individually and uniquely, express His image and life becomes drab and dull. It becomes a never-ending drive of conformity and gray, an endless highway of 5 0’clock traffic. But, as Image, if we find that special channel which serves as a medium to let His voice be heard through our voice, our life will erupt in Divine praise and purpose. The questions hang over us as a Divine commission: how will we Image Him today? In what activity or relationship will we take the time to craft and love, nurture and develop? In what ways will we let His Image burst forth from us to further the universal praise that rings out from all created things back to the Creator of all? He longs to get out from within me, and He longs to do the same through you.