I love to paint pictures.
I am, truth be told, a very-messy-artist. My house may usually be dust-and-clutter-free, but I'm honestly at some of my most happiest when I'm barefooted, giant mug of tea at my side, canvas in front of me, paint on my clothes, a pencil behind my ear and a song in my mouth.
You get me…
I'm kind of wired that way.
But in thinking about the process of creativity, you can't not think about the God who is creative.
Because He is super-and-awesomely-and-beautifully-creative.
The God who calls us not just to prophecy, but to then be the first to walk in it.
The God who is not so interested in the finished product as the journey that gets us there.
It's about what He wants to grow in us.
So simply and shortly and maybe sweetly, this blog will just contain 4 steps from my meanderings about being just-a-little-bit-artistic…
1. Getting the right materials is pretty important.
There's a Misty Edwards song that simply goes… 'I'll take my cold, cold heart. I'll take my unrenewed mind. I'll take Your Word in my hand. And then I'll give you time to come and melt me.'
And that's what comes to mind when I think about this first step.
Because it's less profound, and more about just sitting at the feet of Jesus, Bible out in the stillness, choosing Him despite the coldness of our hearts and the busy-ness of our minds. Giving Him time.
The creativity of something new starts with Him. And we engage in the process by laying it all out at His feet and making that choice to be present to Him as He always is to us.
We don't need all the fancy-pants-material in the world. But we need to be present. Or cold heart. His firey-hot-Word. The time to be melted and moulded and reformed from the messy-moulten-mess.
The thing is, a base coat looks pretty rubbish.
There's no changing that.
It has non of the detail or finery that brings a picture to life in it. There's non of the stuff that's fun to look at or truly pretty to behold. It takes time to fill in the gaps. To block colour.
It's hard going and you have to paint over the fine detail you've just sketched out and then pray that you'll remember the vision for the picture that you had in the first place.
Like how sometimes God starts doing something and our first reaction is, 'I didn't think it would look like this?' Or 'I didn't think it would hurt this much…' And He knows the big picture and the colours that need to go on first in order for the finish to be perfect.
He knows the pressure to put on my life.
Even when I'm going, 'Why…?!?!?!…..'
And I have to trust Him in the process. Learning in the process. And not losing heart.
3. Getting the detail right is a work in progress.
4. Writing His Word on our hearts is the whole point of this whole deal.
I always finish a painting with words. Sometimes they're small and hidden and only I know they're there. Sometimes they're displayed on the moon. But always they remind me that the purpose in all this is to be a canvas of His glory.
This isn't about me bringing glory out of my life so that I can be admired.
It's about Jesus bringing glory out of my life so that He can be seen as the only one worthy.
He is bringing forth a song from my heart because His is the only song I want to be found singing.
Because He is the only One.
Holy Spirit, my best friend, let's keep painting together always.
I am the moon with no light of my own. Still You have made me to shine. And as I glow in this cold, dark night, I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to You. (Sara Groves)