"I've heard there was a secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord"
That line isn't just a really cool opening to a song by Leonard Cohen
it contains a freeing truth that more creative Christians should receive
like a whizzing pass from Tom Brady and run with it all the way to the end zone.
What pleases the Lord is for each of us to follow Jesus and fully inhabit His very specific idea of us.
David was certainly a warrior.
It pleased the Lord when he went out against Goliath
and when he entered battle against the Philistines.
It pleased the Lord to make David king
and for David to fulfill his kingly responsibilities.
But, David was also a poet and a shepherd boy who spent hours talking with God
and this pleased the Lord so well
we are still privy to those poems, those prayers, those intimate conversations
through the book of Psalms.
David pleased God with a sword in his hand
but he also pleased him with a harp in his lap
or sitting on his butt
watching clouds on a hill
just composing his thoughts.
Creativity involves a lot of time staring into space,
it's not a spectator sport,
there's little glory in watching a writer sit at the keyboard
or a musician practice scales,
an artist sketch and sketch and sketch
or a photographer set up a shoot
and it doesn't always look to others like the spiritual equivalent
of preaching a sermon
or feeding the hungry
or clothing the homeless
no matter what it looks like to others
it pleases the Lord
and when we please the Lord, we can rest in that.
Are you a creative person?
Has God placed a passion for creativity on your heart,
in your mind,
in your tapping toes or your strumming hands?
Do you feel His pleasure when you write or dance or paint or design a building or compose a song?
Be free, loved one.
We are the body of Christ together. You don't need to reflect every aspect of Him alone.
It can be lonely to create
and there are hours that can feel wasted when we write a scene or entire novel only to scrap it
or we paint something that isn't perfect
or we try a thousand different combinations until we have just the right moves for a dance.
But if anyone understands our hearts
and the effort involved in creating something amazing,
it's the Creator God.
So rest easy.
We please Him when we're about His business.
Sometimes that means feeding the poor
and sometimes that means learning to write engaging dialog.
A cup of soup can inspire a hungry body to reach out to Jesus
but a poem
or a painting
or a story can inspire a hungry soul to reach out to Jesus, too.
To express that which is buried deep within us
striving to surface
with words or images or music or movement
this is a beautiful thing
and God created beauty
and He is beautiful
and the human spirit gasps for beauty like water or air.
If God has gifted you to do this, well, it's not rocket science, it pleases Him when you do.
Create with freedom, loved ones.
We are free
and He is pleased
even if we serve Him by sitting on our butts.