A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Imitating by Creating

Posted on: October 16, 2014

I come from a family that enjoys creating. For example, my mom has completed knitted and cross-stitched projects, created soft-sculpture dolls and bears from fur coats, and so on. My dad has built items as small as miniature woodland scenes and as large as desks for my brother and me. And my great-grandmother did needlepoint, latch hooking, crocheting and other needle crafts.

craft desk

Projects on the go

A look around my home reveals many items handmade by me as well as by others, and this photo of my craft desk features about four projects on the go.

From cooking to music to crafts, I love being creative and I’ve tried to share that with my son—and with the rest of my family, through homemade gifts.

Sadly, many of us don’t think we have a creative bone in our bodies. We spend our time following routines and guidelines and rules and procedures, and any creative impulses we do have may be frustrated by a lack of time—or by a lack of confidence in our ability to be creative.

I’ve certainly had projects that didn’t turn out, like the miniature house I tried to build from a kit or the soft toy I attempted to sew for my niece (the finished product looked vaguely like a starfish).

But as we can read in the Scriptures, creativity is a gift our Creator shared with us:

  • God created day and night, heaven and earth, the sun and moon and stars, living creatures of all kinds, plants, and humankind (see Genesis 1 and 2*).
  • After Israel left Egypt, God filled Bezalel with the ability to work with metal, carve wood, weave, and more (see Exodus 35:30-35) so that he could prepare everything for the tabernacle.
  • God called us to praise him with dance and music (see Psalms 149 and 150).
  • People mentioned in the Scriptures were creative in their everyday work: Tabitha sewed clothing (see Acts 9:39); Simon was a tanner (see Acts 9:43); and Priscilla, Aquila and Paul were tentmakers (see Acts 18:2-3).

Making time to create can be challenging, but I have some questions for those who believe they just aren’t creative:

  • Have you repurposed everyday items for storage or decorative uses?
  • Have you ever you pulled together a tasty meal from just a few items in your pantry or fridge?
  • Have you ever put your own touches on assemble-your-own furniture?
  • Have you designed a beautiful garden in your yard?
  • Have you come up with a unique way to raise funds for charity?
  • Have you arranged flowers for a church function or decorated the altar?
  • Have you come up with props and costumes for a school play or church pageant?

For those who still aren’t convinced, here are a few suggestions to inspire creativity:

I pray that we would make the time to step outside our comfort zones and experience the joy of being creative—and of being rejuvenated by our efforts.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.

~ Genesis 1:31

(*Scripture references and quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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