Saturday, November 23, 2013

a million little ways

This is one of those posts I’m going to have to work my way through to find out how to say what I really want to say without penning a book length discourse or baring too much of my inner soul. 

Once in awhile, God reveals Himself to us in a totally unexpected way but always in perfect timing. I’m skipping past the how to the what here when I tell you I read a book that should be required reading for anyone who has lost hope of ever finding his/her joyful art. I’m not talking about what most people call art - painting, drawing, photography, although those fall into ‘art’ category. I’m referring to the art that everyone is born to live. As the author, Emily P. Freeman, explains:

“You were born to make art. You were made to live art. You might not see yourself as an artist, but you are–in so many unexpected ways. In what you create, whether poetry or pie, sculpture or sand castle, calligraphy or conversation. It’s time to uncover the shape of your soul, turn down the voice of the inner critic, and move into the world with the courage to be who you most deeply are.
Creating a life of meaning is not about finding that one great thing you were made to do, it’s about knowing the one great God you were made to glorify–in a million little ways.”

As old as I am, even as most of my creativity years are well behind me, I am still able to find ways to make my art (so long as I don’t have to lift anything heavy or climb ladders) so this book was as relevant to me, at this late hour, as it would have been 30 to 40 years ago. No matter how old we are, we all crave validation and it is within our own individual art that we fulfill our purpose and therefore experience our joy.

What sets this book apart from the plethora of self-help books lining the shelves of bookstores, is, first, the author’s exquisite writing, both poetically soft and killing sharp at the same time; in the fewest words she ably comforts and consoles and then wields an edge that slices deep.

“We cannot wait until we feel courageous to make art even as we wait for the courage to come.
Courage bleeds neediness.
Courage sees hope in dark places.
Courage leans heavy on Jesus and moves in the middle of fear.”

Secondly, more than her talent to craft images with words as skillfully as a master artist uses paint on canvas, she validates the Christian’s point of view by adroitly incorporating and crediting Christ as the whole reason we need to uncover our art. It is a complete circle. The Great Creator makes us in His image and then imbues us with talents that we derive joy from as we serve Him with our gifts. 

Freeman’s pure, joyful relationship with God, without the tangled clutter of the do’s and don’t of modern dogma, is an additional plus and, if nothing else, reason enough to read this book. It’s about as accessible, clear and clean a glimpse into real Christianity as you’ll find in a book labeled “Christian”.

I could go on but time is wasting. Get this book.   
a million little ways by emily p. freeman

For Him,


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