In Jon Foreman‘s blog post on “Making a Living”, he talks about the word “re-appropriate”. He says he stole this word from a friend, who stole it from someone else. Now I’m going to steal it from him!
According to Jon’s article, to re-appropriate means to seize and reassign. When used in relation to art and creativity (and even songwriting), this word is quite revelatory. We are all working with a finite number of notes, chords, words, colours, etc. These raw materials already exist. So when we mere mortals “create” something, we are in fact just re-appropriating (seizing and reassigning) things which have already been created.
I think on of the reasons why art is so compelling is that when we engage in this artistic act of re-appropriation, it is as though we have been invited to share in the experience of creation. It’s as if God is giving us a little glimpse into His own creative character, whilst simultaneously reminding us that He is the ultimate author.
When we realise that our desire to create is a result of our having been made in God’s image, we can also develop a deeper understanding of how God sees us. Most (if not all) artists I know love, cherish and value their creations. They view their art as precious and close to their heart. Is this not how God sees us? As precious and valuable?
God is creative, and when we try and create something new from the raw materials that He has already made, we experience another aspect of His character. I for one am thankful that He has invited us to partake in the gift of creativity!
Photo courtesy of DoremiGirl.