A friend of mine paused in front a shabby wooden door at an estate sale. I was three dressers ahead of her, bored to tears. I saw nothing of beauty and little of value. These were odds and ends that even family members didn't claim as they labored through the sad process of saying goodbye to their loved one. What good were these things to me?
Sarah waved me back, excitement sparking in her animated gesture. The door's hinges were broken. It had nine panes of smudgy glass, one with a ragged scratch from corner to corner. Obviously it had hung until with one last gasp of life, it sagged useless.
"I can't believe they would part with this!" Sarah didn't notice my skeptical expression. "It has so much potential." She paid pennies for her find and took the door home. I visited a few weeks later, having forgotten about her dilapidated treasure.
I entered through the same bright red door I always did. I passed through her entryway, clean but littered with sneakers from four lively children. Not until I dropped comfortably into the couch did I notice the once shabby, wooden door propped against the wall. I barely recognized it.
Sarah had stripped the door, sanded and stained it with a luscious cherry finish. She had then blown up family pictures and arranged them behind each pane. A precious child grinned from each corner. Family vacation photos were in between and a picture of her and her husband filled the center. Lastly, Sarah had graced the door in greenery and hung a "welcome" sign from the retired doorknob.
As I stared at Sarah's masterpiece, I began to wonder - is creativity only bestowed on the few and talented? Or, does each Christian have a responsibility to exercise creativity in the image of her Maker?
Creativity requires seeing something that isn't there. Whether it is seeing value in an old door, imagining how a coat of paint could transform a room, or seeing potential in a dying marriage, creativity allows something new to emerge.
Creativity always takes effort. It calls for investment. Sarah's door didn't become beautiful overnight. She got splinters and stained fingers. She worked late at night after her kids had gone to bed.
Creativity often means trying something new, something unproven and being willing to fail. Any artist will confess to ruined canvases, discarded manuscripts, unsung songs.
To be creative is to imitate our Heavenly Father. When we were ruined in sin, useless for His glory, God sent Jesus. When we finally confess our brokenness and retire from our own efforts at righteousness, He re-creates us.
"Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence." 2 Corinthians 5:17 GWT
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