Work in Progress

August 12, 2009

Back in April, I got the urge to make things with my hands. This is not uncommon. It is something that is built into me by my family, and even more so, built into me by God.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.

Though this is a God who knit and wove each one of us by his hand, I sometimes have a hard time believing he would value my own creating. Back in April, I wanted to invest time in making things, but I didn’t know if there was value in it.

I prayed with a friend who sensed God bringing this passage to mind:

Then the word of the LORD came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel…”

This really resonated with me. The story was not a familiar one, but God used it to highlight two things. Specifically, I felt God encouraging me to see the worth of the work of Zerubbabel’s hands. I also felt exhorted to not despise “the day of small things”. Often my projects seem like “small things”. It is hard to imagine something larger coming from them.

So I set out to be faithful in little, to make time to create things and take risks in doing so.

I honestly didn’t mean to write this as I began this post! I was all set to write about drawstring gift bags(!). But I feel this is important context for this blog and the work displayed here. I would love to know how you feel about your creative work. Does it come easy for you to see its value? Or is it hard to see its place in your life?


6 Responses to “Work in Progress”

  1. Hi,

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  2. Lexie Says:

    I have never noticed that verse before either, it’s really intriguing. it’s sweet how God keeps affirming your value as an artist; I remember a few years ago how you were noticing the value of the craftsmen in Exodus.
    For me it’s been really important to be creative especially here… although I feel shy to share things with other people :-) But i guess because whatever I do creatively comes from me alone (and here in this foreign culture i can sometimes feel like i’m losing myself) and when I create something in response to God or for God, i know that God is pleased. So it has felt necessary! did i tell you for lent this past spring I “gave up” a few minutes every morning to dance to one song in praise… So cheesy but it gave me a lot of joy!!
    Anyways, you ask really good questions. thanks!

  3. thegiftedblog Says:

    Hi Lex – You have a good memory! I feel so loved.

    That is really interesting that the need to be creative could be heightened by living in a new culture. I like your point about when you make something, it comes from you alone. I think that’s why sometimes it’s not about the end product, but the simple process of creating. Like your Lent dances are probably not going to make it to Broadway, but the important part is just creating them as you praised. : )

  4. Carolyn Says:

    Thanks for you thoughts. The creative aspect of man is definitely part of the image of God pressed upon each one of us! The verses you sited are a perfect example of this!

    I think its so great that you’ve found an outlet for this creativity!!! I think it will really bless and benefit those around you! Also, it show how thoughtful you are even in the small stuff.

    I definitely don’t know if I have a such a creative drive. However, I’m also learning that it is very honoring to God when we are faithful in the small things. I’m excited to see where the Lord takes this new adventure that you’re on! This blog is a great start!!!

    • thegiftedblog Says:

      Hi Carolyn – I really appreciate the encouragement.

      I forgot to thank you for the Makoto Fujimura book. It has been very encouraging, too. To see someone who is so well-versed in the language of art and art history tell his coming-to-faith story has been powerful.

      I’ve been reading it in bits and pieces, and the most recent part I read was about his middle school school teacher letting him do art projects in lieu of the reading assignments. He talks about this moment where another teacher sees him working on an image for a bulletin board and says, “You can’t waste God’s gift, can you?”

      That stuck with him and ended up being a key moment. I thought it was so cool that just working on a bulletin board could be a part of his bigger life direction. He continued to make images and eventually ended up making them unto God. So inspiring!

  5. sharon Says:

    you wrote, “I sometimes have a hard time believing he(God) would value my own creating.”
    Creativity is God’s essence! In the beginning God created. That’s all He did in the first chapter of the Old Testament. He created, created, created. “And God saw that it was good.” Amen!

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