Maybe, like me, you wait. It’s not that you don’t want to create, or share, but you’re afraid. You’re afraid that someone won’t like it, or worse; no one will even notice. Is it worse to be unloved or unknown? I often debate that with-in myself.
But what if, instead of creating with the reactions of others (or lack of) in mind, we just did it? What if we created just for practice, or purpose, of the creation itself?
It’s not a novel concept, you know. Many have done it, many still do. Some to their own demise, but some succeed wildly. Truly, though, in either case, is that really what matters? That end result, is it where our focus should be?
Over Christmas break I took my Children to Crown Center. This is a holiday tradition we have in our family, to go ice-skating at the outdoor rink and and see the decorations that can only be described as Hallmarks best. It’s something our children look forward to and expect as our observance of the season. It’s important to them.
As we have moved further away from Kansas City, it has become increasingly more difficult, both geographically, and financially, to make this holiday dream become a reality. This past December however, we found ourselves scheduled to see doctors at Children’s Mercy hospital with our youngest son. He had been battling a prolonged illness that seemed suspicious of leukemia. To me, that was all the more reason to make the effort to take our family to Crown Center, which happens to be right across the street from Children’s Mercy.
Through Gods providence, our son did not get diagnosed with cancer. He has, in fact, improved and seemed to kick the illness altogether. But, also through Gods providence, I believe the trip to Kansas City was beneficial to our family in many ways. There were many instances of His presence through out the trip. But, one that struck me profoundly, I have wanted to share with you for quite some time. So, here it is.
In Crown Center there is a Crayola store and restaurant. As if there is anything more suited to the joy of a child than the millions of colored wax sticks everywhere, in every form, they have–at the dead center of the store–a Creation Station. This four-sided outpost features a huge drawing pad and an unlimited access to those beautiful crayons. Of course, my children were drawn to it, including my teenage daughter, who is an artist.
Being the Mom (and photographer) that I am, I stepped back with my camera to observe and document my children’s efforts. And as I watched, something amazing happened in front of me. It started out small, as my daughter picked up a crayon and began to create.
Ever since she was able to hold a pencil, or crayon, Holly has been an artist. As she’s grown her mediums have grown as well to include pastels, acrylics, and pen and ink. She, and our entire family, are blessed in that my mother is an artist and has devoted countless hours teaching technique and practice of art to my children. But Holly has her own inner drive towards art. It’s not just something she does. It’s who she is. She IS an artist. For many years we’ve had to smile and nod as her teachers have repeatedly told us that she draws on her papers. She draws on everything. Last summer, she created quite a masterpiece on a napkin that I hope is still displayed at BeauJo’s Pizza in Idaho Springs, Colorado. I’d honestly not be surprised if she hasn’t drawn on toilet paper. My point being, she draws, creates art, for the sake of creating, not with the purpose of pleasing anyone else. But, in doing so, and for so long, she has created something, no–she has become something–an artist. And that was what became apparent to me at the Crayola Store in Crown Center, and to others as well.
At first it was just one, then a few more, who gathered around to watch her create.
Before long, I was crowded out and had to move multiple times so I could continue to take pictures.
What was it they were drawn to? Was it a young girl drawing with crayons? The image of herself emerging off the paper although she drew with no mirror to observe her likeness?
I don’t think so. Although, that in itself was quite beautiful, magnificent really, I don’t believe that’s what they were drawn to. No, I believe what made the people stop and notice was her bravery, and her joy. The crowd saw someone creating something not for them, but in spite of them. In spite of the crowd hovering all around her, she continued to expose her talent, her gifts, her beauty. She was herself, the artist. And she was beautiful.
And so many times, I want to be her. Not literally her, but myself, in all my glory. I long to be the creator of all that God has placed inside of me. I know it’s there. Oh, I taste it every. single. day. I LIVE it. His hand sweeping across my life creating in me a story of grace and redemption, a beautiful story. I want to let that out! I want to share it, I want, I long, oh so much, to be it. I want to be and live the story that God created me to be. To BE.
I believe that you do too. So, what is your story? Who are you? What has He created you to do and be for His glory? Maybe, you don’t know it all yet. Or maybe, like me, you think you might, or you think you do, but sometimes the details are sketchy, and scary. Where do you go, what do you do?
Well, I believe it begins with courage. Raw, naked courage. The courage to stop envisioning the end result and to create for the sake of our souls is the only kind of courage that’s going to get us there. We have got to run with abandon this race set before us.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
It is so hard sometimes to just be. No matter who you are, or what He has called you to, I know some days it will be rough. Some days, it will seem like the sheer force of the universe is crushing down on you. I know, I know, I feel it too. But take heart, He has not left us, nor forsaken us, and He never will. Be encouraged, the same God who called you is perfecting you for His purposes, even in the rough stuff.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.…
1 Peter 4:12
You are who He says you are ( tweet that) and I pray you find the courage to stop pretending and to start being the story he has written for you. Be the Art He has created and let Him guide you as you create for the sake of His beauty.
Stop worrying about whether they will come or not.
BE THE ART.