Creative by Nature

Click on the thumbnails above to view larger images.

Creative by Nature


Thomas Edison famously said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” There’s a part of me that likes to substitute “Creativity” for “Genius,” believing that good things come from the thoughts and hands of those who work at it.

While that may be true, we tend to undervalue the role of inspiration, the touch of the Spirit of God in our work. That one percent of inspiration has the power to surprise us, especially when we trust too much in our own perspiration.

Finger-painting is a nearly perfect example. I doubt that anyone, with maybe a few exceptions, has a plan in the mind’s eye for the look of a finished finger-painting. The work, which really feels like play, just happens as the happy combination of slick, bright paint and wet, wavy paper slide under our fingertips, coming together in the spirit of the moment.

Much the same thing happened in preparing this collection of images and reflections. I did have the plan of tying together an assembly of nature photographs, passages from the Bible and brief reflections to say something collectively about the God who daily creates this world.

As I searched the Bible for passages that struck me as fitting my plan, I was surprised instead by how clearly and easily God’s creating work glides into his redeeming work in the lives of his people. And then it struck me, “That should be no surprise,” because it is the one God at work in creating, redeeming and sanctifying all his people.

That’s why and how we can look at the sunrise, the dew, the drift, the bud, the seed and the web and see the fingertips of God, slick and bright with color, sliding through this world all wet and wavy. We can appreciate him in what he makes because he has blessed us with the eyes of faith to see his work.

We can’t reason our way from snowflakes to God, but knowing God makes and saves and blesses the world and all its snowflakes, we can make out facets of his image in them and in every other part of this world. Together, they remind us that God is “Creative by Nature.”


This exhibit appeared Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, 2007, on Sunday mornings, at:

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
6901 Panama Rd.
Hickman, Nebraska.

It also appeared Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, 2007, during regular business hours, at:

Tabitha Gallery
Tabitha Health Care Services
4720 Randolph St.
Lincoln, Nebraska.

Print Friendly and PDF