Our first One Word is CREATE.
As people made in the image of God, the Great Creator’s creativity is embedded in our DNA. In the words of author Madeleine L’Engle, “But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint or clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.”
In this our first installment of ONE WORD, we imagine creativity personified, contemplate the Father’s creation around us, taste (virtually) cupcakes inspired by Genesis, and so much more. May the creation of God inspire our creativity for now and evermore! Amen!
Out for a Swim
watercolor & gouache
I had painted the duck on a pond in 1987 and the painting was at Langdon’s office. I went up there a couple of weeks ago and decided it needed spicing up. Originally it was just the duck painted in watercolor, but I decided to use gouache when I started painting on it again and this is the result. I was just having fun; there was no underlying meaning intended as I was painting it, but I can see how it can relate to our lives. Lots of times we never even know the dangers that we get through every day!
This book and verses are the basis for my thoughts on CREATE. I love to write limericks and wanted to express that the Lord is the supreme creator. He has created everything and has given us a platform to continue His plan. He has given us a mind to create transportation, art, medical techniques, music , dance, etc. We then create a life using our creativity from God.
The inspiration for my art work came from thoughts of Matthew 10:31. Our Creator God knows the sparrow and reminds us to “Fear not… because we are of more value than many sparrows. “
These cupcakes were inspired by each day of Creation described in Genesis 1-2:3. Baking is one of the ways I rest and I loved reflecting on scripture as I did that!
I put my hands together and raised them, and God placed a small, dark lump in my hands.
“What is it?” I asked.
I examined the small lump and rubbed it with my finger.
“Doesn’t look like much, and it’s kind of rough.”
I stuck it in my pocket. When I checked, it was still lumpish. I dropped it into a drawer for safekeeping and forgot about it. When I was looking for something else, I came across the lump. It was black and smaller.
“My lump doesn’t look like much. It’s shriveled.”
“I didn’t know You were still around.”
I examined my lump. “I guess I was supposed to do something with you. Sorry I forgot about you.” When I rubbed it with my finger, it lightened, and tiny vibrations tickled my palm. I carried my lump around in my hand the rest of the day and smiled.
That evening, I set the lump on the table next to my bed, and it shriveled. When I picked it up, it plumped up and changed color from black to gray. After I placed it under my pillow, the soft aroma of lavender soothed my racing mind and chased away worries, and I fell asleep.
I woke early the next morning and tossed my pillow aside. My soft purple lump was round. When I picked it up, its warmth and energy surged through me.
“This is nice.”
I put the soft ball on my shoulder, and it chuckled as I wrote words that transformed into a story. The pink ball jumped into me and warmed my heart. I showed my story to friends, and they glanced at it.
“They don’t like my story.”
I set my work aside, but the soft creativity inside of me kept nudging for more of the story. I added words and wrote new stories, and the creativity grew and warmed my soul. I showed my new story to friends, and two people smiled.
“Two people liked it. They smiled.”
I wrote more, and more people read my stories. Some appreciated my stories; others, didn’t. My creativity and I chuckled and grew together, and the two people and even others smiled.
“Thank You. I like creating stories that help people smile.”
Psalm 139: 1-4 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
When I saw the word create, I immediately thought of God, the Creator, who gives us creativity to share, not hide.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
Barbara & Greg Lang
architecture & garden
These photos are of Barbara’s “she shed” and garden. Greg designed and built the shed, and Barbara designed and planted the garden (both with help!).
This is My Father’s World
Catherine & Henry Miller
photography & music
In the past few weeks, we’ve had a lot more time to be outside. We’ve been able to get outside and observe nature. This video is a compilation of old photos and videos as well as new ones; you might recognize a few of the photos in the compilation—four of them are paintings in the church! This is My Father’s World is one of the first hymns I think of when I think of Genesis and The Creation; this is my take on the classic hymn.
photography & garden
I was thinking about the word CREATE and realized it had the word EAT in it as well as ATE and I thought about eating and Fr. David mentioned gardening as a possibility for the create topic—it just kind of led into the garden and the leaves of plants we can eat!
I remembered a picture of Anne jumping with King that I had transferred to a canvas over a year ago. She had built some jumps and taught him to go over them. I squirted out some fresh paint and put the canvas on the easel. If you look closely at the original drawing and zoom into the inspirational photo, you can see the metal fence, cinder blocks, and PVC tubes they were leaping over. Technically they were locked in a round pen, but King didn’t have a lead or bridle and the picture looks like freedom to me. Perhaps that is part of why this image appealed now. May our hearts feel such joy and freedom as we wait for release. Each little blob of paint had beauty of its own but had to mix with the others to become part of the picture. I have never done a painting time lapse before, but it was fun to watch it gradually take shape when played back quickly. Maybe God works in our lives a little like this? Focusing for a time in one area then moving to another….
From Waste to Watermelons
In every garden, life comes out of death—or poop. Compost is either dead things or poop. Dead leaves, rotting wood, rotting food, decay, decomposition, cow poop, chicken poop, or the very best that all gardeners hope for: that our garden will be graced by worms who make worm poop.Inside this bed is a layer of rotting logs, sprinkled with wood chips, sprinkled with used coffee grounds. On top of that layer is a good amount of horse manure, and mixed with that is a mixture of other organic matter—most likely pine bark and peat moss, etc. I tried to assemble this bed in the most cost effective way possible with logs off the side of the road (how I broke my toes) and my friends’ horse manure. The lumber came from sawmill factory seconds, so to speak, flawed and sold at pennies on the dollar. Some day soon it, too, will rot, and I will be left with a lush mound of rotting wood—inside and out.Why am I creating a thing that won’t last? Because it was cheap. Yes. And it is organic and chemical-free. Yes.But let’s think about this: I created something—hopefully something fruitful—out of dead things, rotting things, and cast-off factory seconds. Imagine what God can do with us. Even when death is all around us, or we sometimes have been cast off as “no good”: that is the very board that will be chosen to make a fruitful garden bed instead of a wood floor.
This was my brother when he was young. He passed away at 44. We were very close. The butterflies in this painting of him have a double meaning here: catching them together was a favorite pastime of ours growing up, and they also symbolize new life.
Who I Am In Christ
When I think about the word CREATE, it necessarily brings to mind the idea of the thing CREATED. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I love reflecting on everything that’s true when your identity is in Christ.
In the Creation account, God brings order and beauty out of the waters of chaos. We read in Genesis 1:2, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Out of the formless, empty, dark, and deep waters, the Spirit causes life to spring up. This water lily sprang up out of the mud, buried under several feet of water. It separates the waters as it grows up towards the surface, and emerges as a beautiful, perfectly ordered and arranged bloom. In the chaotic and darkness of the world, God is working something beautiful. He is bringing his well-ordered rule on this earth. He is creating something new in the muddy mess. After all, He created us out of a muddy mess in the beginning (Genesis 2:7).
One Word is an artistic endeavor of Trinity Anglican Church. Every two weeks we will debut an online gallery “scroll” on a particular theme. To read more about this effort and see our next word, click here.