I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Adrianne Dyer’s reflection Creator God As Artist.
God has many names. Often when I look upon nature and my surroundings, I think or find myself saying, “Wow! Look at what God has created.” The name of God as Creator is true. All around are things that God has created and brought into existence, including myself. Yet God is much more than just a Creator. Creator God is also an Artist.
So who is this Artist God? In contemplating this question, I have found that this question has been extended to myself, “Who is the artist within me?” If a Creator God, Artistic God created and formed me, then there is also an artist’s hand-print within me. Me, an artist? How can that be? If I can contemplate God being artistic, then I must try to consider this name and expression being true within myself. A created image and likeness, one mirroring the other.
I like to imagine myself sitting across from the Artistic God having tea or coffee. Getting to know and exploring this artistic layer and depth about God and myself. However, the Artistic God doesn’t want to only be understood through conversation and dialogue. Instead, Artistic God invites me for a walk. It is in walking that my understanding of Artist God starts to take on a new image and meaning.
While walking with Artist God, I am encouraged to slow down, look more closely, and be more attuned to new ways of holding my surroundings. It isn’t easy at first. I still want to say to Creator God, “this is beautiful and lovely.” God acknowledges this declaration but gently whispers, “Yes, but can you also see my artistry passionately present in all that I have created?” With love God says, “Look closer, tell me what you see?” As I look, I find myself noticing details, layers, colors, images, shapes, and depth. Hidden expressions. Artistic God stokes this small flame and revelation, constantly encouraging me to utilize all my senses and imagination. To examine and affirm that nothing in creation is one dimensional, not in nature, not in myself.
One day while walking in God’s artistic creation, I became curious about a plant I walk by routinely. I do not know this plant’s name, or species. Each time I have walked past this plant I have seen it only as a green plant or non-descript bush. Nothing more nothing less. Yet on this day, I “noticed” this plant for the first time. The leaves on this plant have red coloring. Red coloring bleeding into the base of each green leaf. The red pronouncing its relevance and importance. Not hidden or separate from the plant. Fully present and integrated. A dimension I had not observed or attuned myself to see. This plant metaphorically was bringing forth a new perspective and awareness developing within me. I was not just viewing this plant as a created organism but also seeing its artistic beauty.
God created and formed this plant into existence. It has a purpose and place. Although it is predominantly green, the artistry of God has given this plant a unique detail, expression. As it grows and moves through its season, the crimson tones declare their presence. Red is vibrant, attractive, energetic, mysterious, courageous, and strong. I am lured by the red contribution in this otherwise green plant. This plant is distinctive. Whispering a song of surprise and an expression of emergent identity.
While looking upon this plant in its fullness, God’s Artist voice and Created presence engages me with these words:
Querida, Dear one, you are like this plant. Beautifully created from the beginning. With a Word you were breathed into existence. Not just with purpose and place, but with passionate love and artistry. You are deeply rooted in your awareness of being created and beloved. However, for too long, you have beheld yourself as simply a green plant. Nothing more nothing less. Others, including yourself have walked by and have only seen dynamics and aspects that are easy to perceive. Yet, like the plant, there is more to behold and “notice.” An Artistic expression deeply integrated and woven; formed from creative and artistic hands. You are vibrant, warm, inviting, intuitive, ethnic, compassionate, playful, a wealth of experience and story. Allow the fullness of who you are to emerge and be seen.”
Can I dare to see myself as Created Artistry? Purposefully made, not just another planted soul along the path. I will lean into this invitation and dare to share in the image and likeness given to me as gift. Creator and Artistic God, thank you for drawing me into a more fuller understanding and awareness of who you have made me to be.
Adrianne Dyer is a Spiritual Care Provider and a Spiritual Director for SEEL Puget Sound. Three years ago she and her family moved to Okinawa, Japan to serve military families overseas. Okinawa has proven to be a wonderful cross-cultural experience of life, faith, community and creativity.