Saturday, June 29, 2013

Glorifying the Lord By Imitating Him

This is one of my paintings from long ago (seems like another life). I hang it in the kitchen, inspiring me to cook food everyone can enjoy! Though sometimes it is necessary to put away the poetry and the painting--they are luxuries, after all, not something that will bring in the bacon--but when we have the chance, we should pick up the brush and canvas, and the pen and paper. So this is what I'm doing this summer. It's been many years, because I was a little busy with three sweet boys to help educate. The other day I went to see an old friend and noticed a painting that I had done many years ago hanging in the living room. I snapped a shot of it...

What is closer to imitating God than attempting to be a creator? (Even though what we do is such a paltry imitation!)  When do people feel most alive and fulfilled except when they are creating something and imitating Him. Think of your carpenter husband creating a fine piece of furniture that he designed himself, a seamstress creating a costume, an artist painting a special picture, or a poet weaving words together to express a moment. Anyone who has ever created something feels that ecstatic sense of love whenever they've created something to share with others.

In Ephesians 2 we read, "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do....(and in Chapter 5) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."  Ok, maybe it's a stretch to interpret this as meaning: go thee and paint pictures of God's creation, but to me it is a way of loving God and your neighbor!

If you have time for reading blogs like this, then you have time to write a book, or learn to paint! Here's a loose paraphrase from an article by C.S. Lewis, "Learning in War Time:"
If we don’t spend our free time reading great books (or blogs!), we’ll just use the time reading bad ones--or reading ridiculous tweets and silly things on Facebook. If we don’t use our time to pursue aesthetic pleasures, we’ll end up in sensual pleasures, such as drinking too many Hazelnut Macchiatos. We are cultural beings. If we abdicate our responsibility to engage in artistic endeavors for the glory of God, we will end up living in a barren, ugly culture.
And this is exactly what has happened. 


  1. Excellent paraphrase! It brings the point home even more.

  2. I agree! Though I wonder: do you mean that culture used to be less barren and ugly?

    It seems like humanity has always been a diverse topography of occasional oases of beauty and large tracts wasteland among the mostly boring piedmont of quotidian life. I wonder if this is only less apparent, and not less true, of the past. It would be less apparent because the inhabitants of the wastelands and piedmonts throughout most of human history have been illiterate. Only in recent times have Facebook, YouTube, and widespread literacy been available to preserve every barren, ugly thought.

  3. You are so right, Phillip. I had the same come back to myself, when I reread it!! lol

    I thought, I need to erase that last line! But then, well... hmmm. Was hoping it would get a rise out of someone.