Creativity&Christianity #ArtWeekSeries

Creativity and Christianity (audio) -muenimuli.com

{Above is an audio recording I made of this blog post for those who prefer listening in. But for the guys like me who like the traditional option of practically reading, do proceed. 🙂 } 


I love mandazi. Especially mandazi that has cardamon in it. So divine!

Wait a minute Mueni. Doesn’t the title of this blogpost say this is supposed to be about creativity and Christianity? But we are talking about mandazi…hmmm… ”

Guys, isn’t this my story to tell ?  Just relax, I’ m getting there. 🙂 

Haha, anyway… once a month, my church serves tea and mandazi to all congregants after service. I never thought I’d be the kind of person that looks forward to tea, but boy don’t I look forward to those Sundays! I get to fellowship with friends and family…. aaannd eat mandazi that has cardamon in it. 😉

Okay okay, you get it…cardamon mandazi is great. The best actually! And you will never take plain mandazi again after I’ve shared that secret with you. 😛 Fine, I’ll move on with the story.

So one Sunday, my aunt and I were having a conversation after service over tea and mandazi. I barely remember what the rest of it was about, but this part stood out the most.

She asked something on the lines of…

 Joy, are you a creative?”

I paused for a moment.

Me? A creative?

I asked, reflectively.

Ah…why am I even asking, music, spoken word…yeah, you definitely are one…

She concluded rather quickly, and moved on to catch up with her friend who had come to say hello.

I stood there, wondering where all this had randomly come from and after they were done, I asked, Aunty, what did you mean by a ‘creative’?”

Well, as I said, your music, spoken word…all that creative stuff…that’s what makes you a creative.” she responded.

I don’t remember how the conversation went on after that but it left me with many questions; does my medical school life then, fit into her definition of me as a ‘creative’?  Do my scientific ambitions assert or nullify ‘creativity’? Are scientists creatives? Can they be? In fact, who is a creative in the first place?

Whoa…questions overload!

Don’t worry, we’ll walk through them together, but before that, I’d like you to imagine this;

You meet someone for the first time and this is how they introduce themselves;

Hi, my name is ___(so and so)_____ and I am a creative.

What are the first thoughts that come to your mind about what they could be doing as creatives? Were they any of the following?

(Please make a mental note of them before you proceed.)

So, did you think of;

Musician.

Poet.

Artist.

In our day and age, Social Media content creator…

Perhaps they even have a YouTube channooooo . 😀

 

Well, suppose you engage them further on that.

Oh cool…so what do you do as a creative? ”

Then they answer,

“I’m a scientist.”

 

Pause. Did your mind just struggle joining those two dots? Scientist-Creative…Creative scientists…huh?

Well, this then is the series for you. #ARTWEEK #BothSidesOfTheDivide #IAmCreative #WeAllAre

This week, we will try to understand these four aspects and how they are intertwined; art, science, creativity and Christianity.

 


As I introduce the series, I’ll start by making a very bold claim.

You are creative. Yes, YOU! 

In fact, we all are creative. Regardless of what we do.

But first let me share interesting nuggets I gathered in my search for answers;

“Because we image God, each one of us is born inherently creative.”

-Hannah Varamini

“One way of thinking about the way we have distanced ourselves from creativity is this: we have lost sight of our creativity’s source. As creatures made in God’s image, we are designed by God to be like God, and this means we’re designed to create, not peripherally but as part of our fundamental nature. In other words, in the beginning, we are each given, as part of the warranty of being human, a harmonic calling, the melody of a set of good things to do with our lives. As an image or representation of God, when we create, we reflect the character of God and the glory of God. Our God-given creative passion is our unique art and the source of our fulfillment. Each of us is made to be God’s cocreator. And, as with any creative process, the work draws the workers together. When we create, we move closer to God; conversely, when we merely consume, we move further from God. To call someone, or yourself, uncreative is simply untrue. Our creativity problem is not that we don’t have this supernatural power within us. It’s that we have lost track of it. It’s latent. (emphasis mine)”

-Len Wilson (Author of Think Like a 5 year Old- Reclaim you wonder and create great things)


The Bible itself is a work of art. From beginning to end, we are told the story of The Creator and His creation in parable, poetry and many more literary styles. Its genesis? Chapter 1 verse 1, “In the beginning , God created the heavens and the earth.” The first attribute we see of God in the Word, is Him as a creator.

Up to today, we marvel at His creation. I personally am enthralled by the majesty of creation seen in the human body. I am amazed at how every detail was worked out in such a way that we as scientists are always learning more and more about the body system. Doing more research, down to the molecular level to see how the body works. And then engineers, innovators and medics relate where man-made objects can be likened to body features. The eye as a camera. The heart as a pump. The joints as levers. The nose as a filter. The skin as protective armor. And so on.

And now, 3D printing in medical technology enables us to print organs and living tissues. New steps are being applied each day to making things better and better.

Each day, someone creates . The definition I’ll use for create is; bring something into existence. What once was not ,now is, just as was done by God in the beginning. But now, He does it through human beings. Just as God continues to show Himself as merciful and kind, He continues to create. Only that He uses people to do that. Us, His co-creators.

“How many are your works, Lord. In wisdom you made them all, the world is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:24 (NIV)

Unfortunately, we don’t really believe that. We don’t see ourselves as conduits of God’s creativity. So the glory of all our daily creative work isn’t channeled to the rightful Owner. Most times, we end up taking the glory for it.


This week, I have partnered with fellow scientist-creatives, to tell the story of how God is using them as vessels of creativity, in the fields of science and art. I particularly chose these two as they are both dear to me and I’m glad God led me to some amazing people who are shining their light in both areas concurrently! We may not focus on the art of music as much (God willingly, I’ll address this in a subsequent music-specific series) but I pray that each day, as you read their testimonies, God will use this to affirm to you that indeed, you are creative. I pray that in this realization, you will listen in to how He wants you to bring Him glory in every single thing you do and all that you create.

Do you have any expectations, opinions or questions about this topic? Have you also felt like you are on #BothSidesOfTheDivide? Do share in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

I can’t wait to share the stories from tomorrow. Every morning at 9 am sharp. Monday through Saturday!

Soli deo Gloria


(Photo credits; Deno Kim, Sammy and Alice W. | Featuring Julles and Mary G.)

PS- For the book lovers, here are links to 2 book suggestions I came across on this topic:

  1. Think Like a Five Year Old- Len Wilson
  2. The Imagination of God: Art, Creativity and Truth in the Bible

Think Like a Five Year Old

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