I’ve been enjoying re-reading Hidden Art by Edith Schaeffer in preparation for doing this series based on her book.
In the first chapter Mrs. Schaeffer really takes the time to establish that God is the original Artist. God could have created a utilitarian world that just met our needs. However, He created a world of beauty even where beauty wasn’t necessarily needed or even seen.
Take for an example snowflakes. The Bible talks about the “treasures of the snow”. We understand that snow is good because it helps to replenish water supplies when it melts in the spring. God could have left it at that. Instead He created another kind of treasure that only with the invention of the microscope has become available to us.
Seeing this picture of snowflakes makes us realize that God not only cares for the practical but the beautiful as well.
God gave the birds beautiful songs that man has been able to copy in music compositions. He also gave us the ability to hear those songs.
Think of all the beautiful plants God created. God planted the first garden. Genesis 2:9 says, “…out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food…” So God purposely made trees to be pleasant to the sight and good for food.
And God created us in His image. He is the Creator so we are created with creativity in our being. Some have more than others, but to some extent we are all creative in some way.
With that creativity comes choice.
“We start with an idea, or a number of ideas. Something comes into our minds. We have a flow of ideas…And we have to make a choice. We cannot do everything that comes in to our minds, nor can we create everything that comes into our imaginations, whether it be in a very great or complicated area of science or art, or in a very mundane area, such as whether we should make a chocolate, vanilla or spice cake for the evening meal.”
Our choices are limited. Because of sin our creativity is finite, but someday God will restore everything.
Mrs. Schaeffer ends the chapter by asking an important question.
“Is a Christian – one who is in communication daily with Creator… – to divorce himself from the things God created and intended man to have, and which demonstrate the fact that man has been made in the image of God? In other words are we, who have been made in the image of our Creator, and who acknowledge and understand what that means because we know God exits, and experience communication with Him – are we to be less creative than those who do now know that the Creator made them in His image, and who have no contact with Him?”
She answers her question by saying that as Christians we should be increasingly creative. Yes, we need to prioritize our time so we can still have daily communication with our Saviour in Bible reading and prayer and in telling others of life in Christ, but that should not contradict creating a beautiful life.
In closing, this book has helped me again and again to realize that it does not take much to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary, the mundane into something beautiful.
I’m looking forward to going through all of the chapters and being reminded about how we can add beauty to the everyday.