The idea for Creative Stretch #2 came about backwards: I found myself inspired by chapter 1 of Luci Shaw’s Breath for the Bones, which resulted in a free-form prose; then I realized it would be a perfect creative stretch example, so I wrote the exercise based on what I already completed.
Shaw titled chapter 1, “Discovering the Creative Heart of God.” It had me pondering the first recorded creative act in history found in Genesis 1. It is that well-known passage of Scripture in which God creates the heavens and earth—creating something out of nothing—with the power of His voice.
Creative acts of all sorts inspire, but this one outshines them all. No one can match it! We artists take pre-created materials and rework them in new-to-us ways, but never have we spoken new things into existence.
I wondered how God’s astounding original act might apply to the new-to-me creativity I’ve not used yet. Is it there within me, waiting to be brought forth? Is it possible that God hovers over this creature—over my own soul, void and dark and deep—calling to the hidden, unknown creativity within me that He alone can see? Perhaps that’s how my creative heart beats in time with His and reflects His heart through the work of my hands.
So here’s the passage from Genesis followed by my artistic interpretation. I’ve leaned into this passage of Genesis, longing to hear the heart of the Grand Artist. Now I let go my own creative spark to the world.
“This is what I see and how I feel. Can you see it? Can you feel it too?” (Shaw 4).
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. —Genesis 1:1–4
Here from the start, my thoughts are formless and void, often scattered, buried deep within, sometimes even locked and bound. I peer over the edge of my darkened, canyon-like heart.
Darkness is over the surface of the deep.
The deep rolls with wave upon wave of thickened layer. What lurks down in caverns so shadowed? Do I dare venture forth to see? Perhaps before I step forward I will attach some bells to my garment and tie a string about my ankle so someone can pull me out if the darkness swallows me whole. Then, if I am brave enough, I will inch myself into the deep.
But now, I find, I am not alone. The Spirit of God is moving over the surface of these darkened waves. He hovers, as if waiting. What is He doing? Why does He pause here?
Then the Voice of rushing waters spills forth, gushing loud and fierce. Canyon’s deep yields to the Deep of the Spirit; it recognizes this Voice, for Deep calls out to deep; they speak the same language, the language of the soul.
What does this Voice say? The words are both foreign and familiar, other-worldly and of home. “Let there be Light,” He says. A deafening whisper, laced with a joyful anticipation I know not of. What is Light? Is it good?
It matters not that I am ignorant, for Light knows what it is and knows the Voice who spoke to it. It did not delay in its obedience.
And there it was, Light on full display. Yes, it was good, for God declared it so, and so it is. Light has a purpose, ordained by God: exposing darkness, granting insight, mirroring the glories of God. It infiltrates from the surface of the deep, layer by layer, unearthing treasures of shipwrecks past.
What will the Light find? How deep does the deep go? Is it capable of being searched and known? This mystery twinkles in the Creator’s eye.
And that was just the First Day.
Read Other Creative Stretch #2 Posts
Queenie at Rancho Ruperto
Watch for the next Creative Stretch—coming soon!