Friday, July 8, 2011

Of Horrible Giraffes and Genesis

I spent part of my recent summer vacation drawing with my nephew.  We had a great time drawing our favorite food, our favorite animals, our favorite flowers, and such.   I love creating with my nephew.  He's always reminded me of God when he creates.

I mean that he reminds me of the God in the earliest Genesis story, the one before Adam and Eve.  God creates and declares everything "Very good!"  God never says, “This bird doesn’t look like a macaw is supposed to look. I’m going to destroy it. I can never make those parrots like I want them to be. I’m so worthless.”

No, God is an exuberant creator in that earliest Genesis story.  God as creative pre-schooler!  How I wish we could all follow that model.

Unfortunately it's hard to make God's approach our own to creativity.  In this blog post, I talk in more detail about how we learn to be judgmental of our creations.  It's all too easy to pick up negative view points, even if you're surrounded by well-meaning adults.

I was recently horrifed to hear my nephew say, "This giraffe looks horrible!"  Where had he learned that language?  From me, of course.

When we asked him why he thought it looked horrible, he talked about the spots.  We tried to assure him that the spots were perfectly fine.  We tried to remind him of the diversity of creation, all the ways that we're all unique and delightful.

The world beams negative messages at us constantly.  The world tells us that there's only one way to have the right spots.  The world gives us a very narrow message of what's beautiful/successful/OK.

That's not God's message.  Throughout our sacred texts, we see God delighting in creation and going to great lengths to redeem creation.  We rest in the promise of ultimate redemption.

We can take part in this redemption by praising creation, wonky spots and all!  It's an important behavior to model--the children are watching us and following our lead!

No comments: