My best friend, Sierra, visited yesterday. We laughed, talked, made food, sang Les Mis songs, walked, took photos like this. . .. . . and painted.
I’m an artist, not by profession but by heart. But lately I just haven’t been able to create anything. No poetry, no paintings, not even many journal entries. It feels like I’m clogged up with inspirations that just won’t come out, and to be honest I haven’t even had the drive to try forcing them out. Something is making me hold back. It hurts that this has been happening. Jesus has been telling me every single day that He wants me to start singing Him a new song, and I desperately want to do that for Him. But nothing will come out.
When me and Sierra painted together yesterday, I sat and stared at my empty paper for a while. Without thinking about it, I began to sketch myself, staring at an easel. I didn’t think I would actually settle for that as my piece, but I kept right along, adding details to the sketch and soon dipping my brush into the water to fill in some color. Once the sketch was filled in, I put some deep pink paint on my palette and began creating swirls on the paper. Many more colorful swirls and splotches followed. I ended up with this:It’s not my best, at all, but when I looked at the final piece I couldn’t keep back a small smile.
Jesus knows me.
He knows what’s going on inside me, because He’s there, too. When I can’t express myself, and when it hurts so much to be an artist who’s not creating, He still knows what I wish I could say. He doesn’t expect me to word everything perfectly, or expertly convey what I feel, or even know what’s happening inside. I often want to hold onto happiness so tightly that I subconsciously push away anything that bothers me, only to wake up one day in sadness and not know what caused it; and He knows that, too. But when I pull out my brushes anyway and start making marks on the page in front of me. . . He simply helps me see. He gives me expression anyway. It’s when I’m not trying so hard to be meaningful that He shows me the meaning already here.
How is your artwork coming? Your writing, your paintings, your interactions with people, your “little” everyday adventures? You’re an artist, too. And when you feel like your creativity is gone and secretly believe that attempting to create beauty isn’t worth it– He’s asking you to simply try. Just start creating, even if you don’t know what you’re making. Even if it’s completely new to you. In the midst of all the messy, jumbled ideas inside you, Jesus is there, too. He’s going to guide your hand. When you look at your finished product, you might not be in love with it. But you will be able to take a deep breath for the first time in a while, and a smile will sneak out despite your efforts to keep it in. He wants you to create, because He’s a creator, too, and imitating that glorifies Him; it’s a way for you to be close.
I’ve been aching to write some lyrics and just haven’t been able to. But maybe I’ll grab my pencil and notebook anyway and see what comes out. Jesus, please create with me.
I’m lost without your creative spark in me; recreate me. I’m dead inside unless your resurrection saves. -Rend Collective Experiment, “Desert Soul”