I recently babysat my eight year old nephew Joshua. At the end of the day we were cuddled up and said some prayers. Always curious and curious about the bigger questions in life, we had talked about angels and saints and the whereabouts of our loved ones who had died. Still on big things, Josh began to share his knowledge of “Googal,” a number that is 10 to the power of 100 – in other words, an unimaginable number! He asked me the size of this number and the number of zeros in it, and after many “I don’t know,” I finally said, “Math is just not my forte, Josh.” He immediately replied, “No, no, Fi . Your strength is creativity and love. “
When I heard these words, my heart melted. This pretty little boy sees my strengths in “creativity and love” and has the insight and clarity to name them. At that moment and many times after that, I thanked God because it made me feel hopeful that I would get something right. It speaks to the deep desire in my own heart to be someone who listens to the loving, procreative and creative Spirit of God that dwells in me.
Ignatian spirituality emphasizes the idea that God the Creator invites each of us into a relationship of love and creativity. We are invited to be co-creators with God in love. The two are so connected! In fact, every time I create something that has been kindled in me by the Spirit and that is implemented with love, I create with God. I say “yes” to this beautiful invitation to bring forth or give birth to something that speaks to the beauty, wonder and mystery of God.
Another thing I really appreciate about Ignatian spirituality is the basic principle that we can find God in all things, anywhere, anytime. It makes the reality of God concrete in my world. I don’t have to go anywhere to find God. Rather, God is here with me right now, in my own heart, in my own circumstances, and especially in the created world around me. I have long felt a special connection to God in nature – in the rivers and oceans, the rolling hills and mountains, the flowers and the vegetable patch – even in the worms and spiders. Each is special in its own way and contributes to the beautiful tapestry of life and creation.
I am deeply aware that when I answer the call or impulse of the Spirit to create with love, I am part of God’s greater plan to be a co-creator. When I start the project, I am excited and excited. I feel God’s presence and can enjoy the creative process. For example, in the past few months I’ve been swimming in open water early in the morning. I have a special camera that I can use to capture the mystery and beauty of this underwater world. Every day when I soak up the very cold but refreshing water that envelops my skin, I am filled with amazement and awe and reminded of God’s vast creation. I observe the streaks of light through the water that highlight the various shades of blue, aqua, green and turquoise. And when I share my photos on social media, the answers are full of amazement, awe, appreciation and gratitude. Touched by my creation, someone may be inspired to delve deeper and deeper into creation or be encouraged to create something beautiful for themselves!
Back on land, when I stroll around my neighborhood and enjoy the daisies’ colorful splendor, I watch my heart expand and marvel at their beauty. At this moment I feel God’s love and hold my camera to capture the shape, shape, vivid color and clarity. I create a photo that captures the beauty that I can then share with the world. Here, too, it is my way of specifically sharing God’s love and creation as well as my own with the world.
At home, I enjoy creating delicious dishes that combine leftovers or “bits” from the fridge and cupboard. When I peel the vegetables, slice the meat, or stir the saucepan, my heart is warm and I feel God’s presence. As I prepare this nutritious meal, God is with me. We create together.
Creativity is such a nice term. It is an open and endless invitation to give some life that comes from within. Perhaps the ghost moved or nudged you to make a card or write a few thoughtful lines in a notebook. Or maybe someone else will make a toy out of old wooden materials and pass it on to a younger family member. It couldn’t be any of these. And that’s the beauty. God invites each of us in a unique way to live a life of creativity and love. The two are so intertwined and speak of the reality of God in our hearts and lives and how we make God’s presence known to others.
- How can you make the interconnected beauty of creativity and love more concrete in your life?
- How can you participate in God’s beautiful plan of creativity and love in your life?