"Are you an artist?" The question came from a young man struggling to set up one of two art tables in my craft area.
I answered, "Yes. I am," and—for the first time—I felt the truth plant into my soul.
I am an artist.
That statement might seem obvious to you, but it's been a journey for me.
Last September, I started teaching a Bible study my friend and I developed. It's called "Created to Create." We looked at God as an artist. After all, He introduces Himself first and foremost as a creative being. Then, throughout scripture, He values creativity. You can't read his instructions for the temple without seeing the finest materials crafted with great skill into something breathtaking. What struck me right between the eye—the reason I can stand tall and say I'm an artist without it feeling like something frivolous—is by exercising the creativity God put inside me, I am reflecting HIM which is my entire purpose for being.
God is an artist. I am an artist. This is good!
Why, then, have I spent years feeling like every penny spent on craft supplies took food from the mouth of the poor? Or like I need to apologize for time spent making greeting cards instead of being on a mission trip or at the homeless shelter. When I write, I struggle to set aside the "you should be doing something more worthwhile" mentality. Why is that?
I grew up in the "If it feels good, do it," generation. Nowadays, it's "Do what makes you happy." But these slogans are so often used to advertise and justify sin, we Christians swing the pendulum the opposite way and say, "If it feels good, don't do it," or "Do what makes you holy not happy." Like everything that feels good is wrong, or holiness and happiness are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Which led me to believe things that made me happy needed to be pushed aside for more worthy pursuits.
I'm breaking free of such nonsense.
I am an artist.