Approaching the Work
The following is a benediction I wrote for the 2022 “With a Grateful Heart” event at my church. Gratitude being the central theme, I wanted to share it with you all as well considering the approaching Thanksgiving holiday. I hope it enriches the way you see yourself and your endeavors, and those others around you in the coming days and months.
A Benediction of Gratitude for Creation and Creativity
We are created in the image of a Creator, and His imagination echoes through ours. Every act of creativity performed in this knowledge can also be an act of gratitude. We approach the formless clay, the canvas, the empty page, and our hearts whisper a prayer that we can make something beautiful. Something meaningful. Something resonant. In hope and gratitude we work and wait.
It is amazing to hear even secular artists talk about the independent life their work has, describing it often as something separate from their original intentions. We believe and trust this independent life is the spirit of God hovering over the waters of our endeavors, partnering with us to shape our work.
All the same, the creative process can be a painful one when our results are not what we had hoped for, or when they are not appreciated by others for the value we see in them. Yet we persevere in gratitude, thankful for the image in which we have been created and for our unique expression of it. We hone our craft, taking our gifts and working them in such a way as to be a gift in return — an act of worship in itself — to the divine Giver.
More than that, we persevere through the chaos and the pain and the loss and the suffering in this world in gratitude, thankful for the wonders around us that stir our hearts to longing for the coming kingdom: the kingdom we can begin to recognize even now. We approach the formless clay, the canvas, the empty page in faith — and in gratitude. We create so that we might bring the light of more beauty into the darkness in our world.
Let us continue on in our endeavors in thankfulness to our Creator for making us in his image, and for the beauty He’s crammed into this world to shake the soil of our hearts loose, making them ripe for planting the seeds of his kingdom.
I am truly grateful you’ve chosen to stop by here, if only briefly, and my hope as always is you would leave encouraged. Happy Thanksgiving.