Reading is quite a mysterious thing. Science can’t quite explain how the little black squiggles that you see result in pictures in your head. If I write, “Little lambs frolicking in a field,” you can see it. And that’s amazing. However, in order to see that, you have to learn how letters work together to form words, which work together to form sentences, which then work together to create a story. This is quite an amazing phenomenon when you think about it.
Those little black squiggles would seem nonsensical unless you learned to comprehend the language they’re written in. But even once you learn individual letters, it will do you no good unless you learn how they work together to create words, and the words do you no good unless you understand how they create a sentence. Even the sentences would seem oddly disjointed unless you have some understanding of the story that they’re in. You have to know their context.
Life is much like this sometimes. If we are each a letter within a word within a sentence within a narrative, then life can seem incredibly nonsensical unless you understand all of the interactions going on around you. It can feel awfully disjointed and confusing. Usually, this confusion comes down to a simple lack of understanding. The problem is that, as humans, there are some things that we will never understand until (or unless) we see the narrative as a whole and are able to see what led to what, who’s lives intertwined and for what reason, and how one chapter ended so that the next could begin.
Also much like a story, the story that we’re living in has an Author. He created each one of his characters with care and precision to serve exactly the purpose that they are intended for, just like any good author would. He laid down each letter of each word of each sentence on every page so that they too would each serve a purpose. Nothing is extraneous, all was necessary, and all was carefully laid out and planned.
This narrative is the longest and the grandest in all of history, because it consists of all of history. It’s a story of love, hate, joy, anger, despair, hope, and faith. It’s a story that doesn’t stop once you’re gone. It keeps going. It goes on into forever, and the ending, contrary to all writing advice I’ve ever been given, is a happy one. It continues on into paradise.
When you think of it that way, God as the ultimate Creator, not just of physical things (trees, water, flowers, birds, humans, insects), but also the one who created the synapses that allow you to process thoughts, feel feelings, and have the urge to create, dream, imagine, and learn. When we talk about being created in his image, I think we too often stop at the physical appearance. Having arms, legs, eyes, a nose, and a mouth is indeed an image. But what about a mental image? What about the feelings that we feel, the creativity that abounds within human beings, the urge to let that creativity loose?
I believe that this is also one way that we reflect God. If he is the Creator, wouldn’t it make sense that we would want to create? If he is the Author of Life, wouldn’t it make sense for his creations to desire to also be the authors of lives? Of course, ours are often fictional. His story created the world that we live in, ours creates words on pages that can allow others to experience the worlds we keep in our heads. But doesn’t it make sense?
Creativity and imagination and the desire and the drive to make art and books and plays is a unique reflection of our creator, and it’s something that should be expressed. It is equally as valuable as logic and factual information, because without creativity you will never make the leap from what you see to what you think about it. You will never be able to make connections between seemingly disconnected ideas. You would never make the leap from the formation of a little black squiggle to the idea that it could represent sounds and an image. The facts are important, but creativity is what builds the connections between facts that allows an individual to see those facts in a way that no one else ever has. We all have this ability ingrained deep within us. It’s what allows an author to make a character who is representative of the author himself. It’s what allows an artist to represent his feelings about a war through an abstract painting. It’s what allowed the Wright brothers to look at the birds and say, “I can do what they do.” It’s what inspired Galileo to look at the stars and realize that the Ptolemaic model was wrong.
And all of this can be traced back to the image that we bear. He put his mark on his creation the way that an artist signs a painting. That’s what we are. We’re his signature on a beautiful and wondrous universe.
Alena Rivas is a college student from Tucson, Arizona. She has been married since August, 2013. She and her husband don’t have kids yet, but they hope to once she graduates! Alena writes about life, love, loss, and God. She works to incorporate her own experiences in such a way as to inspire others and encourage people to think about things in new ways. If you like her writing and want to keep up with it better or just want to have access to her awesome witticisms that may not always end up in blog posts, you can find her on Facebook (facebook.com/authoralenarivas), Twitter (@MrsAlenaeous), and Google+ (Alena Rivas).