“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”~Genesis 1:31
There is something deeply satisfying about making something with your hands.
Since we’ve been a little more intentional about rationing consumables, we’ve been utilizing cloth napkins. I’m pleased about this switch because not only are they gentler on the planet, they’re also softer on the skin and, if you pay attention, you’ll notice they are quieter. But we have five people living in the house and we only owned two cloth napkins. This was an issue I could easily remedy.
One of my projects last week was cleaning out the kitchen drawers. In so doing, I realized I had a surplus of dish towels. How does this happen? Do they multiply in the drawer? It’s more likely that over the 26 years my husband and I have been married, my dear mother-in-law has gifted me more pretty things than I can count. I am thankful, and today a couple of those gifts were repurposed. So I am doubly grateful.
I took two of those dish towels, which, truth be told, although they were attractive, did not do a very good job of wicking water off wet dishes. I cut the towels into quarters. Then I sewed the two sides I had cut so they wouldn’t fray. Of course, even this small sewing job required some ironing and holding my breath hoping the sewing machine would cooperate. (We have an understanding. If she’s in a bad mood and decides to bunch up the thread underfoot or break a needle, I put her in time out and don’t ask her to help me with anything else. Sometimes our separation lasts for months.) Today was a good day with the machine.
I completed the task at hand, and was quite happy about it. In fact, when it was all done, I stood back with arms akimbo and declared, “It is good.” It felt so good to do something creative and constructive with my hands. Now, I realize these are only cloth napkins and not guinea pigs or rain forests I created, but I believe that even when we put our hands to simple tasks to make improvements on the world–no matter how small we might think they are–we tap into the creative character of God.
There is a creative pulse that runs through us. Whether we are painting or sewing; cooking or cabinet-making; team-building or creating lesson plans (That computer monitor in the background? That’s my teacher-husband’s makeshift classroom), we all have it in us to create. Whether we realize it or not. Some of us design gardens. Some arrange words on a page (See that notebook in the back? It wasn’t there when I set out to sew those napkins, but after the first few stitches, this essay idea trickled into my brain.)
My happiest moments are those that I pay attention to that inner creator and see where it leads me. It could be a making a new recipe for dinner, braiding my daughter’s hair, or just composing a day that looks a slightly different from the one before. It keeps things interesting. In a time like this when we may be getting cabin fever–especially if it’s a cold and rainy April day–it’s a welcome change.
I also find that when I’m creative, it helps me know God a little better, too. And, to me, that’s always a good thing.