Over break, I had a discussion about writing with my aunt, about blogging, actually. She would like me to blog more, and I told her why I hesitate–I don’t want to be one who writes much with nothing to say. But I’ve noticed that the opposite is true, that when I have much to say, it is too much to articulate or else there is just too little time to say it cohesively. Hence, I give to you, fragments of one mind.
Job spent too many days in a dung heap of sorrow and criticism. So many days, actually, that he began to audaciously question God. He is convinced of his own righteousness. Then Holiness Himself speaks. The Creator questions the created, and Job sees, not a solution, but a God Who created greatness itself. The answer to life’s questions, is not an answer at all. The solution to the problems is not a solution. The answer, the solution–what are these in the face of I AM?
Dorthy Sayers, in Mind of the Maker claims that today’s world is asking all the wrong questions. We frame life in problems and seek for solutions. She looks to the creative artist as having a better frame. See life as materials to be made into something of worth, not problems to be solved. She calls the “common man to deal with life creatively” (Sayers, 185).
So, what are we to do? The artist knows that “the only way of ‘mastering’ one’s material is to abandon the whole concept of mastery and to co-operate with it in love.” (Sayers, 186). Frankly, how often do our problems have a human name? If Elizabeth would only be more aware of what’s going on, she would be more helpful and we wouldn’t have so much work to do. Albert is just forcing his opinion. If he would only listen to both sides, we could reach an agreement. Often our problem’s name is our own. If I could just be more disciplined, more smart, more perfect.
What if we stopped fixing people (yes, even ourselves) and started creating something out of what we have? What does that look like?
How could answering those questions change our families? our churches? our world?
Why this emphasis on creating? Doesn’t God want us to bring questions? Doesn’t God want us to seek Him for answers? Jeremiah writes “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3) Yes, God wants us to seek Him for answers. But perhaps, we miss the “great and mighty things,” because they don’t look like the answer. What if those “great and mighty things” referenced here are pieces of creation?
The questions God asked Job were certainly centered on the material world. Job is wondering why he must suffer evil, and God asks Job if he knows the measurements of Earth or if he taught the unicorn how to live or if he put the snowflakes in the clouds.
Yet even if I choose to accept that God is Creator and can answer with the all the greatness of His creation, I am still left wondering why I need to create something. I am not God, after all.
Not God, but made in the image of God. What does that mean? There are pieces of every human being that reflect the character of God. Both God and man are spirit, relational, lovers, eternal (the soul of man that is), planners, beauty seers, creators–
I don’t know if Sayers says it in her book or if I picked this idea up somewhere else. When God tells His story, the first thing He mentions is creation. He took all the many elements of who He was and made us. Yet, we are too finite to contain all of Him, to finite even to see all of Him. This world is jam-packed with Him and still that is only fragments of Himself.
We were made to make. We were made to bring glory to our Maker. In making, perhaps we present more fragments of Him and give the world more glimpses of His glory.
Each meal that’s made, each poem that’s written, each piece of wood that’s taken in hand to make a house that will be a home is something newly made. This thing once made can never be made again. So if one song seems to allude to another, what of it? It is only drawing the eyes to a more complete picture of glory, connecting fragments of life to give a more complete picture of God.
The Syrophenician woman who came begging healing for her daughter knew she was a dog compared to the greatness God. Yet she still begged Jesus to make something better of her life circumstances. She was willing to make a meal of crumbs.
In all I see, I read, I experience, I make, I know, there hides more of Who God is. Like the Syrophenician woman, I grasp at crumbs, fragments of His mind, glimpses of His glory.
Sayers, Dorthy. The Mind of the Maker. (New York: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1987)
“King James Bible.” King James Bible Online, http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/.