God has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver – by any sort of workman or skilled designer. – Exodus 35:35 (ESV)
God says we are already filled with the skills of artists and artisans and makers. The argument is that we are all designers. Who knew? Maybe we are not Picasso or Beyoncé but we are still artists. We are all creative and also created. Maybe even recreated.
My friend and I were playing tennis. I like tennis as my recreation. The courts were a little messy from a big wind the night before. The leaves were a little slick. She picked up one leaf right at the start of our game and she put it in her pocket. I was surprised. Why not just throw it off the court? But then I realized she was doing something important. She was removing it from the court. She was redesigning the tennis court.
The uprisings that started on Pentecost – now almost two months ago – could fizzle again, like they have before. But maybe this time it will be different. Instead of just throwing the leaf off the court so the wind can blow it back, we might put it in our backpack and try to do less damage. We might do something different with the mini-dangers on our tennis courts and the maxi-dangers on our streets. We might embroider God’s intended beauty on our hearts, like a tattoo, and wear the promises proudly so we could actually recreate.
Improve whatever recreation we artists have. Give us confidence in knowing what to do, on the court and in our lives. Amen.
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.