Learning from Pipe Cleaners
I don’t attend a super traditional Sunday school class. And I sort of love that. This morning, our teacher dumped a bag of pipe cleaners on the table and asked us to create a visual representation of our relationship with God.
And the challenge confounded me. While others got down to the business of play (which, again, made me love this group of people so very much), I felt stuck. See, God and I have had a rather dramatic season as of late. And by season, I mean three full, full years. How in the world do I mold all the pillow sobs, scribbled questions, and flying ah-ha’s with pipe cleaners?
But if God is big and ethereal and altogether indefinable, He is also matter and bloody sweat and tears. I could build something. Something of Him and me and this season. So I made a railroad track with two glittery “God-pipe-cleaners” lining the whole way. Showing (mostly myself) that God stuff is the journey. And that He lines every clickety clank of ours with His grace. His presence.
Others sculpted doorways and swirls and all manner of cries that God alone fully understands. He gets that life feels topsy-turvy, and honestly, any one of our crude creations could describe my relationship with God at different times. The teacher then challenged us to privately mold our marriages, our parenting, etc. And I think this challenge extends to the artist’s life too.
If you were to sculpt your creative self–your inner artist–what form would your pipe cleaners take?
Now, I roll this question up and down, and my thoughts turn to the tracks. Only, I wouldn’t make the lines so straight. If I had been more honest this morning, my track would have turned this way and that. Veering in a general direction. Yes. But perfectly straight? Um, no. Surprises come. Seemingly setbacks come. They are the curves and turns of a heartbeating life.
So let me hand you a pipe cleaner or two–or as many as you need–and ask you to show me your artist’s life. Play away, reader friend. I would oh-so love to hear about your creations.