Monday, April 30, 2012

Imago Dei

Not long ago, I started my second journey straight through the Bible, while my Sunday School class was in the middle of studying pre-Abraham Genesis. Needless to say, I've gotten a good dose of the creation account lately! "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27

Interestingly, I never thought much about what it meant to be created in the image of God until the last couple years. (Imago Dei = Image of God in Latin, by the way. I am so smart!............ Okay, okay, my dad's in seminary and he likes to talk about what he learns.) The whole thing didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, because God is spirit, so how could our physical bodies be the image of God? 

"Wow, Karen, this is a weird way to start a blog about your art."

Hey now. Just hang with me a minute. 

When you get to know God in Scripture - I think we all know mankind pretty well - there are a few things that you can identify as part of God's image in us... but the thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is that we were created with creativity. We "watch" in the Genesis account as God delights to create one thing after another with fabulous results, and then the first task we see God assign to Adam is naming all the animals. Tell me that didn't take some serious inventiveness! 

While my grandparents were here visiting this past week, I could hardly bring myself to come to the table for dinner because I was nearly finished with a fabric basket that I was crafting. I was more excited with every new layer as it neared completion. As soon as the meal was finished, I returned to my basket. As I was fashioning a handle, my mom questioned how that was going to work, but it didn't faze me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and exactly how I was going to do it, and I was convinced that it would turn out exactly as I had planned. To my great joy, it did. And I looked at my little basket, and behold, it was very good. (Indeed, that is a Genesis joke.) In fact, I was so pleased with it that I kind of wanted to stare at it for a while, and maybe caress it a little. 

It's really cute. Don't judge me.

I had taken a pile of fabric strips and formed a basket, just as God took the earth when it was formless and void, and made it into something beautiful and intricate and alive. It was like He was allowing me to share with Him in that experience of creation... on a much smaller scale, of course! I am so thankful for the ability to relate to this great God in such a real, personal way, and even the possibility of being able to support myself by doing that over and over, blows me away. 

This is a blog about my art (in its many, varied forms), but it is also about my faith. For me or anyone whose relationship to the creator God - and whose very life - has been restored by believing the sacrifice of Christ to cover sin and following Him as Lord (Ephesians 2:1-10), it is impossible to separate creative (or any) ability from that relationship. I create not because I'm an awesome artist, but because my Lord is! Every ability that I have He has given to me, and when I make a fabric basket, it's not to show you how crafty I am... it's to show you how amazing, how glorious HE is! God in His unfathomable grace has given me this gift, and it is my heartfelt hope and prayer that I will always use it for His glory, not mine.

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