\It was dark in the studio. I had always hated how it got so dark with the shades drawn. The slingback chairs were the kind you sunk back into, and as we sat across from each other there wasn’t much light but the lamps illuminating the black chalkboard wall behind me.
I am in many ways a seeker of wisdom, and when life began to shatter around me that fall, I sought out those who I knew could speak wisdom in my life. This woman, my professor, an artist, was one of those people. She wore dark glasses perched on her nose, and her dark gray hair was what I hoped someday my own would look like. She was kind, gentle, and taught me so much about my art and how to create. As I poured out my heart to her, and laid bare the broken rubble that had become my family, she spoke quietly into the empty studio.
“Keep creating,” she said. “Keep painting. Keep losing yourself in your art.” I had nodded in response, the familiar tears welling in my eyes because I knew that sometimes brushstrokes were simple prayers when words simply weren’t enough.
But somewhere, in the years between, pencils and paintbrushes had been laid down, cast aside, and I wondered at the point of it all. I wondered what the point was of creating. Wasn’t the created, the ornate, the carefully designed room, the strokes on a canvas unnecessary? Why is beauty necessary? Why is creating necessary? Wasn’t beauty, in and of itself, just futile?
Yet my soul told me otherwise. There is a need in this life to hold close the things that make our heart dance. For me it’s the bright colours of the bouquet on my counter. It’s the feel of paint underneath my fingertips. It’s the joy found in the piecing of words together, like a soft melodic symphony.
And so today, in a frozen, snow-covered world, I got it. When God says we are made in His image, we carry the hands of a creator. We are meant to create just like our Father did. We are meant to be cultivators of beauty, to breathe life into a world so darkened by death.
You and I, we are meant to be creators. We are meant to show the world who our Father is through the eyes of a camera lens, through the hammering of a nail holding together a home. We’re meant to get our hands dirty and to lose ourselves in the brushstrokes because maybe they are silent prayers afterall.
Maybe it’s in the creating that we get to know the Creator. Maybe it’s in the losing of ourselves that we find the one who holds us together. And maybe, just maybe, living life abundantly means being bearers of life in this world.
Breath beauty into this world, friends.