You shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen, and blue, purple, and crimson yarns; you shall make them with cherubim skillfully worked into them. — Exodus 26:1 (NRSV)
Our Creator calls us into a relationship of careful listening and creativity. Woven among all the detailed instructions about materials and colors associated with building the tabernacle we find this rather enigmatic statement, “you shall make them . . . skillfully.” This directive commands the artists to add in their own thoughtful designs and indicates that God desires an artistic alliance with us!
Julia Cameron, author of the book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, says, “When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the Creator’s creativity within us and our lives.” And I would also add, this work of opening is integral to God’s restorative action in the world around us. To be clear, creativity doesn’t always refer to an artistic venture. It may also refer to any endeavor that brings life-giving joy and beauty. For some, balancing an algebraic formula or laying floor tiles can be as joyful as painting, cooking, or singing. Whenever and however we choose to develop our creative selves under the grace and guidance of God, we are helping the Lord make room for love and re-creation to take root in our world.