Genesis recounts to us the original history of man, the creative strokes of a Master Artist. The narrative leaves a great deal of the story to our imaginations, as good narrative should, at least as far as those who would muse questions like, “what did that look like?”
There were some fantastic photos posted in a recent contest for Wired Magazine of cities around the world. Take the time to browse these…they were a great way to start out my morning. They also got the mental juices flowing on the concept of creativity. The process went something like this:
The same chapters explain to us that our race was created in God’s image. Theologically, this is the source of every human being’s intrinsic value. There’s something else that stands out as well: a blessing on creativity and craftsmanship can be inferred. After all, God thought way outside of any box in creating us, our micro environment (the Earth), and our macro environment (the universe), as well as any other potential inhabitants of the universe that may well be out there. The thing that makes man stand out as different and above the animals of our world is that we are designed and crafted in His image, and, with that, came a soul.
That soul leads us to be creative as well. While some are apparently endowed with greater degrees of creativity than others, we all have the capacity for it…perhaps at different levels and in different ways, but we all have the capacity for it nonetheless.
This thought process isn’t new, and certainly isn’t original to me. Its one of the cornerstones of the theological study of man, and likely has been since theology was a discipline. Paul discusses in Romans that we are all hard-wired to believe in a higher power when we ponder His creation. For me, its the beach. Sitting in the sun, listening to the waves roll in, and pondering the water meeting the sky in the distance in slightly different shades of blue, I recognize God’s power and creativity like I do in no other venue.
Now, what does this have to do with the photos I referenced earlier? I guess I think of it this way: if God created us as creators, then He designed us to create as He did. Of course, we’re doing so on a much more limited scale (we can’t create something from nothing, as God did), but we can take what is in our environment and craft it into something impressive. And I think there is a spiritual component to that. For me, I see it most in the crafting of words. Although I’m not an overly visual person, though, I’ve been forever fascinated by city-scapes and skylines, especially at night. Captured, as these images were, through the lens (literally and mentally) of those with the gift of finding a still image in a situation that will be timeless, they are particularly beautiful and poignant to me, especially as one ponders the humanity within them.
So, if God created the environment for us, and if He created us as creators, then it stands to reason that He intended for us to keep building and crafting. And, while encountering His nature in its own right is an intensely beautiful thing to me, so is encountering what we can continue to add to it, as imperfect and flawed as that might be. It is all a cycle of creation, and the fact that we keep it going is indicative, perhaps, of the best our fallen condition has to offer on its own.