I am not an artist. I am definitely not crafty. This has been my identity for a very long time. In 6th grade, I was forced to make daily sketches for art class, and I was miserable. I just didn’t know how to translate what I saw to the paper. And ever since then, I have avoided artsy-craftsy situations like the plague. At VBS, I’ve busied myself with learning the music for the next day instead of helping in the craft room. During Sunday School time, I’ve always had very important pastoral duties to attend to whenever there’s been a request for help with the art projects. I’ve always felt that there was just no need for me to even dip my toe into that pool. Art and me don’t mix.
But that’s where God’s humor comes into play. Lately I’ve found myself smack dab in the middle of artsy-craftsy chaos. Here I am at Messy Church, surrounded by kids and adults being creative:
And again, helping kids learn about the Lord’s Prayer by making a bead bracelet:
And then, in the midst of learning different prayer forms to help people descend into the silence of contemplative prayer, I’m instructed to use my creativity and create a collage:
Honestly, what is going on here? I was perfectly happy avoiding art and devoting all my time to something I’m already good at: music. Why am I continuing to bump into craft projects that make me feel inadequate?
Maybe that’s the point. Maybe in those times when I’m feeling off-kilter, when I’m caught off-guard, I’m more open, more able to hear the whispering of the Holy. When my ego has to take a step back, there’s actually a little bit of room for the Spirit to move around in and do the work of transformation that’s needed in my heart. It doesn’t feel great – being put in a position of ignorance. But it’s in the not knowing that my heart is softened and my mind refocused on what is truly life-giving.
I still don’t plan on leading the crafts at Messy Church any time soon. But I’m learning to be grateful for the chance to try a new project, and for the gift of the Spirit working through my inadequacies. There is abundant life in our weaknesses, and transformation underneath every failure. Bring on the scissors and glue – I’m diving in!