As a person that loves creative arts, I often ponder how my creative pursuits relate to my desire to bring glory to God with my life. Why are we drawn to beautiful things? Why, when I walk through a garden, do I want to go draw the flowers and make them into a fabric design? Because God made beauty for our enjoyment…
Recently I read Welcome to the Story: Reading Loving, & Living God’s Word by Stephen Nichols. The whole book is worth reading, but I was particularly struck by some thoughts in the chapter on creation that relate to beauty and creativity.
The creation account in Genesis provides a lot of insight into the creativity of God. I think I often read through the creation account very complacently. I’ve heard it since I was a small child in Sunday School and the powerful imagery that should provoke amazement and worship is sometimes lost in the familiarity of the story.
Gen 2:9 says that God made every tree that is both good for fruit and pleasing to the eye. We can infer a lot from that statement. God created the trees for fruit, to sustain life and meet a physical need. I think we usually see that part. We know God provides for our needs. We see the utilitarian purposes for the things that God made.
But he also created trees that were “pleasing to the eye”. Their purpose was beauty, for our pleasure. In other words, God created beautiful things because he wants us to enjoy them! From an artist’s perspective, this is a refreshing reminder. God is glorified when we enjoy the beauty of his creation, when we are inspired by the beauty around us, and when we seek out beautiful things and places.
I think we often overlook the beautiful things that surround us everyday because we are busy. And we just aren’t looking for them. It takes practice to see beauty in the small things.
I have found that I often see beauty more easily through my camera lens. I look at things differently when they are framed or very close-up. I don’t think you have to be a professional photographer to practice looking for beauty that way. Try it! Get your phone camera out and look for beauty in the details.
Or go outside and sketch what you see. No one has to look at it! It’s just for you. But when you try to draw things, you will begin to see details that you missed at first glance. I think that good artists notice details that others miss, because they have trained themselves to look for the small things. But you don’t have to be an artist to focus on small pieces of beauty around you. Study one flower or tree. Look at the colors and textures. Search for patterns and designs. When you start to see them, you’ll find yourself praising God more often throughout the day.
Maybe you are better with words. Try writing a detailed description of a garden. Discipline yourself to slow down and observe your surroundings. Nurture an ability to see beauty in the details that others miss. Point them out to your children and friends. Find pleasure in the simple things that God has placed around you to point you back to him. Then praise God for his creativity!
Praying that I see the beauty God has placed in my life to point me back to him, and praising him for learning to see beauty in the small things.
I’ve linked this post to “What I Learned” at Chatting at the Sky…though this is definitely something I’m still learning!