READINGOld Testament: Exodus 7:8-24
Psalms: Psalms 119:145-176, 128, 129, 130
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6
Gospel: Mark 10:1-16
Evening Psalms: 128, 129, 130
DEVOTIONAL“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God.” (2 Cor. 3:4)
In The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, Julia Cameron presents the idea that God, as The Creator, has given each of us the ability to be creative. By using our senses to explore and enjoy the world around us, and by putting our tender and precious art out into the world, we are pleasing God.
I love this idea. Some of my happiest times are when I’m deeply engaged in creative pursuits. But I also feel guilty for taking the time for creativity. Our family has been in all kinds of crisis lately, to the point where doing anything fun feels frivolous. There is always, always work to be done.
But one day last year, inspired by a combination of March mist and snow in Claude Moore Park, I put off grocery shopping and dashed home for my camera, and I took a walk through woods on a snowy morning. It was so much fun that I decided to challenge myself to do that once a month for a whole year -- take a few pictures of the park, and publish them on my (mostly neglected) blog.
Eleven months in, the project has taken on a life of its own. I take pictures nearly every day, looking for the unusual and the beautiful everywhere I go. I’m still not a trained photographer, and I only use two settings on my non-fancy camera. My pictures have improved with practice, but the real change has been in how I notice things, which has brought me joy and peace in this hard year. If I capture a pleasing image, it’s because God created the beauty in the first place and gave me the eyes and the mind to notice it. If someone else -- a stranger on the other side of the world, or one of my own children at our kitchen computer -- sees that image and appreciates a little more of the wonder of God’s world, that’s even better. But the best part is that my eight-year-old daughter asked for a camera for Christmas, so she can join me.