Friday, August 9, 2013

Week of Hope: Day 4

To create something is a hopeful act.

I find that people often shy away from this hopeful act with the protest that, "I'm not very creative".

I understand the protest. To create something and offer it to others is a risk. It is taking some of my deepest self and laying it before others who then may criticize or find fault. Or they might like what I have offered and then begin expecting something of me that I won't be able to live up to.

...I remember how afraid I was the first time I hit the "publish" button on this blog.

Often when we are afraid, we avoid. If we have experienced much criticism or rejection in life, it may be automatic for us to avoid self-expression to protect ourselves. If we have been harshly abused or given little nurturing, we may not even know that we have a self to express. How can I even know what words or colors to start with if I don't know who I am?

Yet I believe that our Creator has given each of us the capacity to create. In fact, I believe we are called to be "co-creators". It is part of our invitation to join the fullness of His life. Each of us may find ourselves co-creating in different ways, depending on our interests and opportunities, but the possibilities are endless.

Our world is so consumer-oriented that too often the product is viewed as most important and the act of creating is viewed as a chore to be endured. Our culture's food habits are a perfect example. Most of us are separated from the creative acts of planting and harvesting. Many of us have given up the regular practice of creating meals from fresh, natural ingredients. We go out to eat, pick up fast food at the drive-through or buy packaged meals because the act of creating a meal has become burdensome.

This is but one example and there are many reasons why our culture has evolved (or devolved?) in this way. But the gift of co-creativity is still implanted in each of us and our culture cannot rob us of the Creator's gift. We can begin anew to value the process over the product - to explore and express without judging ourselves.
And so I invite you to create - to engage in a hopeful act. Roll around in words and sounds. Splash in colors and invent new shapes. Prepare a meal or sing a song. Make whatever you do a prayer of the heart - to express whatever longings, fears or loves you may have deep within - and don't worry about how it's going to come out. Just let it come out...

Tonight I offer you a little acrostic poem that came forth from my heart (using the letters H-O-P-E to get me started). Together let us move our way through our fears and sorrows and pains with tiny acts of hope, renewed each day.

(Would you like to share something you've created during this Week of Hope? If so, please e-mail your creations to me at, indicating if you want your name or a pseudonym to be used with them. You may also forward items related to the other 6 holy pauses as we will be spending more time with them in future weeks.)