Growing up, I never would have considered myself artistic. Though I enjoyed doodling, my best drawings were glorified stick figures. I never took an art class in high school, preferring yearbook and other digital platforms instead.
When I was recovering from a surgery a few years ago, I discovered to my delight that Bob Ross was now on Netflix. I had fond childhood memories of his show coming on after my favorite cartoons. Using some art supplies my husband had gifted me for Christmas, I decided to paint with Bob. Honestly, I just wanted to see if someone with zero artistic talent could magically turn blobs of paint into gorgeous woodland scenes the way he did on his show. Turns out- she can.
It was new, therapeutic, and a great way to break up my Netflix binges. And anyways, I couldn’t physically do much else. Then, a few years ago the leader of my community group described how she loved to do art with God. I was intrigued. She described letting Him take the wheel with her as she painted.
I gave it a shot, dwelling on the Creator as I created. It’s a powerful, beautiful experience. God is not limited to speaking through Scripture alone. He can speak in profound ways when we open ourselves up to Him and set aside the time.
Anyways, I recently attended a women’s retreat with that same friend. In fact, she co-organizes the entire retreat. She encouraged me to lead other women in the process of connecting with God through art, but this time I would use small slabs of clay instead (easier to transport, set up, clean up).
It was beautiful to witness so many skeptical women having a deep, meaningful time with God. He spoke to them, loved them, affirmed them, challenged them, allowed them to experience His presence.
For their reference, I wrote down the process of manipulating clay with the Creator. I’d like to share it with you all, as well. Give it a chance- you never know what God will want to share with you.
Creating with the Creator can be a powerful experience. If you’ve never done it before, you might have reservations, doubts, or insecurities about creating your art. That’s natural, but unneeded. Remember that nobody will judge your creation. After all, you don’t even have to show it to anyone. It’s all about spending quality time with God and opening up to new and unique ways of connecting with Him.
First, talk to God. As you hold your clay in your hands and begin to work it, pray. This might look different for everyone. You might tell Him your insecurities about this exercise and ask Him to release your fears of judgement or outcome. You might tell God how you’re feeling or what’s going through your mind. You might praise Him and have a time of Thanksgiving. You might ask Him to speak with you as you simply listen, expectantly. A song, an image, a word, a verse, or a shape might pop into your brain. Don’t resist it- God can speak however He chooses.
Second, let your experience with God shape the clay in your hands. Perhaps He wants you to make something specific. Perhaps He wants you to just feel the clay and be with Him. Perhaps your hands will form something you don’t understand- He might even reveal the meaning to you later. When shaping the clay, there’s no right or wrong; there’s no good or bad. There’s just connecting with the Father and opening yourself to an experience with Him.
1. What did God communicate to me through this experience? How did it feel?
2. What did this experience tell me about the nature, character, or qualities of God?
Verses to Consider:
“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” -Genesis 2:7
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:10