My kids love to make art. They are forever coloring pictures, writings stories, and drawing on walls and floors. Any attempt at a formal dinner on my kitchen table feel laughable because of the many marker lines covering the surface. It’s one thing to color outside the lines but outside the paper? Come on!
One time, I came home from work and my oldest daughter had tatted herself and her little brother from head to toe with non-washable markers. It was a good lesson on permanence. “When you get old, that nonsense you drew on your forehead will be droopy, discolored nonsense. Oh, and you’ll never get a job looking like that.”
I wish I could be as fearlessly creative as my kids. They are so proud of their scribbling and plot-less stories. Let’s be honest, in terms of actual art, their stuff is terrible. No one is going to buy it. It’s not going to win any awards. Most people would just throw it in the trash–but not me.
To me, my kids’ art is priceless. My children made this stuff. One way or another, an idea crept into their heads and they put it to paper. I think it’s beautiful. I have it pinned up in my office. I save them to my phone. I put them on the walls of my house. I’ve literally framed a drawing or two.
I also make other people look at my kids’ art all the time. Maybe some of your friends do this to you.
“Hey check out what my kid drew.”
“You already showed me 9 times.”
“Did I? OK, I’ll show you again in an hour.”
The thing is, there is immense confidence in this artwork. My kids feel free to make art and shamelessly show it off because they feel safe in their relationship with their mom and dad. They don’t have to prove anything. They never say, “I should probably tear this up because it’s terrible.” “This portrait of me doesn’t have a torso. I should probably postpone drawing until I learn proper proportions.” No way! They just plow ahead, pinning their stuff up on every available wall space, sometimes by-passing the pinning and drawing directly on the walls themselves.
So what changes? Why aren’t adults like this? There is no way in heck you’ll find one of my drawings up on the wall of my office. I mean, some people do this sort of thing but they are called artists. The rest of us are convinced that we aren’t good enough. And, this is exactly how we live our lives. We aren’t confident enough in our abilities, talents, passions and dreams to really step out and speak or draw, or jump, or even move. We are too afraid that who we are isn’t good enough. What will people say? What will they think about me?
We are paralyzed by fear. I think we all function more like children than we realize. We don’t feel secure, therefore we don’t live out our true identities. I would argue that what the world needs is exactly what we don’t seem to be capable of doing. The world needs people who fearlessly live out who they are created to be.
The truth is that if I am a follower of Jesus, I already possess all the security and love I need. I am a son of the King. I have nothing to prove. There is no reason to fear. If I already have the approval of the One who made everything, why do I care so much about what the people around me think? He’s already proud of me.
Maybe God is like a parent who adores his child’s artwork. Maybe he isn’t concerned about the proportions, details and stray marker trails all over the kitchen table. Maybe He’s more concerned about fearlessly expressing the talents He’s entrusted to us.
What the world needs is for me and for you to start making some art. What if we stepped out in confidence and began speaking, acting, loving, creating, singing, and building with fearless confidence? What does God want to do through your life that you’re simply too afraid to start? Maybe He’s asking you to be brave and make some art.
photo credited to Kate Ter Haar via Flickr