A whole new year stretches out before us. Will we walk with creativity, that force that has the ability to change lives, or will we tread the same old familiar paths? Creatives live with the desire to change lives, to create experiences, to transform the mundane into moments of wonder and to shout to the world about injustice and inequality.
What is Creativity?
What is creativity? It is the ability to take fresh and new ideas and make them happen. Most importantly to ‘create something’. The Disney group call this ‘imagineering’. To imagine and then to engineer. To make it happen. Without the action or creation it is just a good idea. The creative process is the use of imagination, or original ideas, to create something. Creativity is directly connected to the ability to focus and find inspiration. Creativity has the ability to innovate change.
If you have ideas but don’t act on them you are imaginative but not creative. It is creativity that puts ideas into action.
Creativity is a human trait. We are actively creating all the time. God is a creative being who creates and we are made as creative beings who create, People often confuse creativity with artistic ability. ‘Artistic ability’ however is different, it is a skill, it is a gift, it is a discipline. Like painting or singing or dancing.
Creativity requires courage: it requires the courage to ask questions and not be worried if you are wrong. New questions create space for life.
“To life a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong”.
by Joseph Chilton Pearce
How is creativity linked to Justice?
God’s purpose for creation fits with his creative energy in creation. Likewise, his ongoing purpose in this world and for our lives—as a part of his creation—guides and gives import to the creative energy we have as creatures made in his image. Whether you’re starting from a focus of justice work or whether you’re laden with artistic talent and creative energy, understanding God’s plan for creation and the ultimate aim of creativity will fire up your imagination and give direction to your passions.
This thought comes from the creators of ‘SPARC Justice’ which was launched in Sydney last year and is co-hosted by TEAR , The Justice Conference and SPARC.
The world is changing at lightening speed and it can make us feel like we are falling behind. In the middle of such change how do feel like we can thrive and succeed. One answer is creativity.
Creativity is our natural God-given ability that helps us to flourish instead of just survive. Imagination and innovation are desperately needed today in life and in leadership (Ken Wytsma).
As a follower of Christ, social justice issue are a high priority to me. I truly believe that it is the arts, it is creativity which makes a platform for social justice because artists thrive on the margins. They are the misfits, the ones who see what no-one else sees and who can create order and beauty out of chaos and darkness. Art brings things back into order. Divine Art is redemptive to the entire community.
Recently a friend of mine became a local vigilante. He is an artist. He is a metal sculptor. He lives in the Warrandyte/Eltham area. Recently in Eltham there has been a lot of social uproar and push back about the Baptist Unions plan to house refugees out of detention and into a community living arrangement in Eltham. There have been the haters and the demonstrators and there have been the creatives. Those who have made a silent and subversive statement.
These creative souls decided to make a statement of affirmation to the wider community about their acceptance of the idea of refugees finding homes in Eltham. So they wielded their paint brushes and scissors and began to cover Eltham in butterflies. The Melbourne Age headline read:
Battle for Eltham: Welcoming butterflies a background to anti-refugee protests.
“The number of pro and anti-refugee protesters who converged on the leafy outer suburb numbered in the hundreds. But trees and footpaths around Eltham were home to almost 8000 butterflies, made by local residents as a welcome symbol for the 120 Syrian refugees who will soon take up residence at a local aged care facility” (Age November 5 2016).
Butterflies and protesters rally for refugees in Eltham. Photo: Craig Sillitoe
My friend Tim Read put a large metal sculpture of a butterfly in the middle of an Eltham round-a-bout. Under cover of early morning darkness he made an artistic statement of support for the refugees and also for the creative vigilantes of Eltham.
They had an idea, they activated it, and they have made a huge difference.
Everyone has the capability to be creative. It takes courage and the conviction of what you believe in.
“120 Syrian refugees are moving into our lovely suburb hosted by St Vincent’s and Catholic Care. They will be families…..mainly women and children. A small number of people have protested against their arrival, however the majority of our wonderful community have been overwhelmingly positive in their support. Linda MacAulay Artist and myself made this sculpture to welcome the refugees to Eltham and placed it on the roundabout where it was seen by thousands of people daily to help spread the word of peace and hope. It was removed today but will permanently installed at the St Vincent’s Care Facility in a few weeks time. Thanks to Welcome to Eltham for all the good works”. (Tim Read)
Social justice occurs where everyone has the capability to fulfil their potential. ‘Acquiring capabilities is a creative process that is best acquired through collaboration’ as demonstrated simply and effectively by Tim, Linda and the creatives of Eltham.
Walter Bruggerman says that we need prophetic imagination. We desperately need the creatives the prophets. Why? Because they can think outside the box. They can see past the road blocks, they can see the way forward and they can walk toward it.
Ken Wystma founder of the Justice Conference says that the pastors and innovators of the next century will be the artists and creatives. We need creative initiative to problem solve, to face the hard issues and to make changes.
We might not be able to fix the world but we can change the world. We are not powerless. We can create and work toward that end.
God The Creator – The Creator Song
Before the beginning there was silence.
There was no song. No whisper.
There were no hues of blues and greens, no blends of color, no child’s laughter and no aromas, no yellow flowers, no buzzing black bumble bees, not even red sky at dawn. There was no fire and there were no rhythms. There was no work, no ice cold drink on a hot day, no flow to the center, no far and no near, for there was nothing to be measured.
There was no structure, no system, no birth and no moonlight dancing on the evening tide. There was no bitter and no sweet and there was no breeze on the face. There was no texture, no form and no early morning fog. The darkness was not black for there was no color.
But there was hope. Hovering there in the silence was the One.
(Does God Really Exist May 31, 2009)
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