One of the most delightful aspects of my job with theology students is hosting Sabbath Space. Each Wednesday and Thursday, students come to a stain-glass and candle-lit chapel to feast on crayons, colored pencils, coloring sheets, and anything else I can find to tempt them to take a risk and play for a moment.
Most students are right-brain starved on their academic diet of dense theological and philosophical texts, weary from wrestling with justice issues, or just tired from the frenetic pace of life. They come in, take a deep breath as they sit down at the craft table, and for 5 minutes or 3 hours, they find the eye of the storm. The art product is secondary–it is the moments of attention that they pay to the project at hand, choosing medium, colors, getting their hands and hearts involved, that gives rest.
Rest is also found through the moments of attention that others at the table extend to each other, “How are you? How are classes? What a beautiful color choice!” Some students start talking as they walk in, grabbing a blank piece of paper and random pencil, shapes and designs soon punctuating their narrative.
Something beautiful happens in Sabbath Space, but most would not call themselves artists. Rather than focusing on production, I see students gingerly walk or wildly run into their creative hearts, finding healing to take back into the rest of life.
Fittingly, the large, beautifully carved table used for creating and conversing in Sabbath Space is also used for a weekly community feast of the Lord’s Supper. Different gatherings, but both means of grace, renewal, and communion.
- What is one area you experience flow of creativity? How do you get caught up in God’s creative nature? (Think outside the box–it may not be playing an instrument or drawing, but it could be creatively organizing a project, managing a staff, listening to someone in a way than communicates presence, cooking a feast, computer programming, etc.)
- What does it feel like to be creative?
- When you are creating in this way, how are other people blessed by your effort?
- What is one small way you can cultivate creativity this week?