Creativity and Courage Emerge
Updated: Apr 11, 2020
As we experience the tension of hope and creativity against the sadness and grief of suffering we feel the weightiness these days. We sense the darkness of a broken world, the need for healing, the temptation to fear and anxiety, the sorrow of loss. And we feel the stress of navigating change. What is needed today is not what was needed two weeks ago.
And yet even in this unprecedented challenge I see courage and creativity emerging. The church, ministries, small groups, businesses, and even friends and family are finding new ways to connect as we "stay home" in this crisis of pandemic. God is mobilizing his children for influence calling us out of our comfort zone. Creativity and courage are the stepping stones.
So, along with many of you, when God nudged to offer something new, I said yes. I turned the pages of my Bible to Psalm 23, Ecclesiastes 3, and 1 Peter 5, set my phone on a stand, and pushed the button to record, lectio divina by video. It has been a little awkward and rough around the edges, but I am learning.
I observe innovation, creative problem solving, compassion, and bravery in the leaders of the church and the culture. I see individuals and communities taking risks, not health risks by ignoring protective guidelines for social distancing, but risks of vulnerability. Leaders are blazing new trails into the unknown, more concerned with serving and guiding than appearing polished or dazzling in performance.
We are doing work and ministry differently, and we are engaging significant changes to daily rhythms. I am grateful and encouraged by the humility, perseverance, and diligence that is playing out all around us. Can you just imagine God's pleasure as we press in to His leading and seek to love well?
As an introvert I am comfortable with a significant amount of alone time, less activity, and less stimulation, but I do need connection. As one who usually works from home while my girls are at school my quiet days are now more active with my family present. That means I need to be intentional and adjust how I nourish my soul. And probably like you, I am doing more work on my computer than usual, so I need to re-think my screen time to find good rhythms these days. It is critical to pay attention to the needs of body and soul, and attend to what has captured the focus of our thoughts. Our rhythms may need to shift because our days are different in this home-bound crisis.
Our extroverted friends and neighbors may find these days particularly challenging. Let's ask them how we can support them. Those who are weak among us may need care in specific ways. Let's pay attention and ask questions.
Remember that creativity is nourishing and stirs energy. Creativity takes many forms, so notice what is inviting to you. Perhaps your creative studio is the kitchen, like my sister, and a new recipe stirs joy. Maybe a home project to renovate or organize sounds fun or an outside project has been waiting for your attention. Perhaps there are creative thoughts stirring that are just waiting to be written or typed. Or an image awaits a blank page.
Choose courage. Allow it to launch new adventures and move you forward. When the idea stirs to try something new... I encourage you to step into the uncertainty. Be curious, even playful. Ask God for guidance. Ask God to partner with you or ask God how he desires you to partner with Him.
So as the weeks stretch out before us:
Make new things - Creativity is nourishing and stirs energy, so ask God for what you need.
Tweak rhythms - Spiritual and life rhythms need to be adjusted when we encounter change and/or crisis. Ask God for insight.
Choose courage - Courage matters so lean into vulnerability and risk as God guides.
Feel your feelings - Take time to grieve and to delight. Your heart matters to God.
Exercise gratitude - This is not a new practice, but don't let it slip away in these uncertain days.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and pray. He is the author and perfecter of our faith - this is where the growth and learning happens(Hebrews 12:1-3). Our minds can get captured by the latest statistic or headline on the news. Join me with intentional focus on Jesus, especially in these days approaching Good Friday.