I can’t believe it. We are at the end of the book. Oh, weren’t the last few weeks of reading A Million Little Ways just wonderful. I think that I need to go back and read parts of it again or maybe the whole thing again.
I love that we are made to live art and make art. That we make art by living out who we truly are in the presence of others. I have to admit that this is always something that I have struggled with…to be fully and completely who I am in the presence of others.
That is one of the reasons that I started teaching preschool. Children are unpretentious. They don’t care if you do something a certain way, sometimes they don’t even care if you do it. It doesn’t matter to them if you put on a silly hat and dance around the room like a clown. Actually they love it when you do things like that. Children accept you for who you are.
Speaking of children, chapter 11 reminded me of one of the many reasons that I love working with young children…the wonder. In chapter 11, Emily talks about the art that we are able to release being related to our willingness to embrace wonder. Children are so good at that, and somewhere along the way as we grow up that ability seems to get away from us.
But God doesn’t want us to lose that wonder, that awe, and He has provided us with so many things that should fill us with wonder. Things like the wonder of being united with Christ, that He and the Holy Spirit is working in us and through us, all for the glory of God or the very fact that we have life on this earth or what about time and how eternity is woven into our minutes, and then there is the wonder of us, who we are, the way our bodies work, the rhythm of our lives. All these things should fill us with wonder, but honestly, how many of us take it for granted? I know I do.
We need to get back to that place of wonder. Then we need to create…
“Every moment is packed with artistic possibility because, as an image bearer with a job to do, there is potential to reveal the glory of God in every circumstance, no matter how I feel, who I’m with, what my hands hold, or what’s gone wrong. God with us lives within us. And he will come out through us in a million little ways.”
Creating isn’t just about the painter or the musician or the designer or the things that we traditionally think of. Creating is about being who we are, who we were created to be, in the midst of our everyday, crazy, chaotic lives. It is about living out who we are even when it’s hard or even in the face of fear. It is about creating space and being generous. It is about having the courage to be you, an image bearer of God.
Emily ends the book with The Artist’s Manifesto and I want to end with that here.