My flatmates and I have recently discovered a love of craft. Perhaps the term ‘recently’ applies only to me, but it has been a source of gentle satisfaction which has taken me by surprise.
There were many reasons why we held a craft afternoon in our flat a few sundays ago; a birthday, our delight in cake, the opportunity to hang out with friends and meet new ones, and a general hospitable spirit were a few of them. Our living room turned into a messy haven of coloured card, bejewelled stickers, pencils, crayons, pritt sticks and the like, whilst our kitchen burst with sweet treats, petite rectanglular sandwiches, aromatic tea and the indulgent scent of abundance.
A fold of card later, I decided to introduce my bible into the equation.
“I know someone creative”, I thought, as I clutched my pink ESV. Who could I encourage through a piece of decorated parchment? Could this add another layer to my decoupage worship of the most Holy God? Well, I was willing to find out at least.
Cutting and sticking, I prayed, a verse popped into my head, and bingo! I had a plan. What ensued was a flurry of scissoring, the careful peeling and sticking of minature gold letters (who brought those?) and the swift, lyrical action of a rollerball upon textured fibres. Tadaa! A masterpiece. Well, to a 2-year old, but I thought fondly of my work, and I believe God did too.
Since that, err, memorable day, I’ve sent quite a few of my cards to friends and family with an encouraging verse of scripture on the front and a few choice words inside. I’ve invested in a new pritt stick and my craft life has, well, taken off.
Now, during my latest craft-blast, as I pondered who to encourage next, I was at a loss. You see, each card I had previously made had upon it the name of a specific reciever. Now what to do? How can I create without a reason to do so? Oh the theological implications! Instead of consulting Wayne Grudem’s ‘Systematic Theology’, I chose to simply do my thing regardless and prayed for a verse or two to get me going. Three decorative cards later, I had a trio of possibilities.
“They’ll come in handy at some point”, I sighed, as I tucked my craft box back in the corner under my bed.
Propped up on the table, I returned to my creations and read the three nuggets of scripture I had scrawled. God was alongside me, the Holy Spirit spoke: “They’re for you”.
Ooof, my inner cat (if that is, infact, even a thing) just recieved a fresh bowl of milk.
God had decided it was my turn to be encouraged. He wanted me to know the breadth and length and height and depth of his love for me in that moment. He wanted to return the favour, and bless me through my art.
How kind and loving is our wonderful God hey? How well does he know us and want to bless us? I’m confident that he cares completely, and that he is at hand.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3v20-21