As I write these devotionals this week, we have three grandchildren staying with us while their parents are at a trade show in the southwest. My seven-year-old granddaughter is a bundle of creative energy. She is constantly drawing or cutting and gluing papers into artistic shapes. She likes to sit down with me and let her imagination dream up stories for her story blog I set up with her. Beautiful things catch her eye all day long.
We are all drawn to things of beauty. Whereas it may be the fine strokes of Rembrandt for one person, another may find creative beauty in the fine strokes of a specially-built, high horsepower engine. I am somewhere in the middle of those two people – I never was drawn much to art, and anyone who can understand that tangle of belts and hoses and moving parts under the hood of a car is a lot smarter than me!
But as a child I was always captured by the splendor of the night sky. Living in the country and away from metropolitan lights, the sight could be quite dramatic. In middle school I ordered the varied parts from a scientific catalog to build my own telescope, and it worked! The sights were amazing, bringing to my eyes the planets of the solar system and varied galaxies and nebulae from outer space.
The Scripture in Psalm 8:3-4 always resonated deeply within me, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Those words would go through my mind on many an evening when my parents thought I was crazy for getting up by alarm at 3:00 a.m. to catch some particular stellar event. While looking at the sky (with an eye out for skunks), I would imagine that David himself had 3,000 years earlier looked up at the heavens and seen the very same sight.
It is correct to state that one of the attributes of God is creativity, speaking of God’s beauty, glory and creative power. Though not as frequently codified as an attribute as many others we mention in this series, the basic idea is that being created in the image of a creative God, we create because we share something of God’s creative energies. The reason we enjoy such things as art, music, movies, books, stories, hobbies—everything we do with our hands—is a reflection of God’s creative power. We create because we are formed in the image of a Creator.
Some other Scriptures that speak of God’s beauty and creativity …
Ps. 19:1,2 – The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
Ps. 40:5 – Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
It is a wonderful gift from God to have the ability to apply our interests and energies to creative things that may well last beyond ourselves. Whenever I am in New Jersey or the Lehigh Valley and near the places where ancestors of my family lived, I enjoy driving past the farmsteads – many of them with structures built by great, great-grandparents. They found God to be faithful to them as they forged out a life in the rugged countryside. Many are buried in the churchyards of churches they helped to found, support and construct – using their creative energies for eternal impact. As I’ve often shared with you, it is a worthy endeavor to consider how we may creatively work to have an impact in generations of family beyond our few years.
And beyond these brief years, we who know Christ are headed toward a place of unimaginable beauty. The end of the Scriptures picture it with these words: “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:23)