Brad and Joyce, my in-laws, would never call themselves artists, but they are two of the most creative people I know.
Give Joyce the high school play title along with yards of fabric and accessories, and she’ll whip out a bevy of fantastic stage-ready costumes that will leave you breathless.
Give her five random ingredients, and she’ll have a delicious supper ready in an hour.
Frankly, I’d be at a loss to do either of those things.
She’s also very creative in stretching a shoestring budget. In the family’s lean years, when my husband Tim was little, she could make a tree branch feel like Christmas.
Brad is an educator and business man. He also wore the hats of youth group leader and home renovator. Give him a problem and and he’ll solve it, whether it requires convincing a school board or toting a tool belt.
He once wanted to divide his property and build a second house on it to rent. Across town in a re-zoned area stood an abandoned house, soon to be demolished. Perfect! Except it was five miles away.
But the price was right. He bought that house for $100 and paid $3000 to have it moved next door onto a new foundation he’d built. He renovated it over the next few months. The following summer, Tim and his grandpa built a deck for it.
No doubt this is where Tim’s own creative problem-solving ability comes from. And he’s had plenty of experience with our 1883 Victorian house.
In the 1970s, Wendy’s advertised that they could make hamburgers 256 ways. Brad, in his businessman hat, decided to do a promotion for them.
He lined up 256 students from Fort Wayne Bible college and sent them through Wendy’s one at a time, each with a designated order, to see how fast Wendy’s could make and serve 256 unique burgers.
Though he’d hoped that Wendy’s all over the country would pick up on it and try to beat their time, only a few in Fort Wayne took up the challenge. Even so, it took quite a bit of ingenuity to try this and get 256 kids on board!
Then there’s my dad. Give him a 30 x 30 plot of land, gardening tools, and a gift certificate to Stein’s Garden Center, and within a week, he’ll create a sight for sore eyes. A garden fit for a king. As a Master Gardener, he knows shrubs and flowers the way some people know ice cream flavors.
My mom, just like her mother, crocheted and knitted the most beautiful sweaters and afghans. Give Mom a skein of yarn and knitting needles, and she’d whip out a flawless baby bonnet, booties, or blanket.
The only thing rivaling her ability was her patience in fixing my mistakes. She tried to help my clumsy fingers knit without dropping stitches. I couldn’t get the knack, even with her patient guidance.
No, the Muses of cooking, sewing, renovating, gardening, or knitting never smiled on me. Never even paid me a visit.
Fortunately, we don’t all have the same Muses. But we benefit from each other’s endeavors.
Creativity is not just for certain special people. Though it might be repressed, we’re all imbued with ingenuity as created beings in God’s image. Imago Dei. Like Disney’s Imagineers, we all are “imagineers” of a different kind, whether artist, inventor, researcher, chef, gardener, or business CEO.
If you think you’re not creative, stick with me over the next few weeks. I believe you’ll discover otherwise.
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were,
but without it we go nowhere.”
―Carl Sagan, astronomer,
from interview May 1996
Imagine that . . . God created space, and we are fascinated by the world out there. And it’s our God-given ingenuity that helps us explore it, makes us curious, always seeking more.
Sometimes the “worlds that never were” are Story Worlds, novels peopled with characters we grow to love and care about. Or worlds found in paintings, plays, and movies. More on Story Worlds later . . . I’ll be featuring guest authors who create them.
We all have some area we’re familiar with, curious about, or immersed in. Whether cooking, gardening, building decks, running a business, exploring, or writing stories.
What “world” do you love to explore or create?
I’d love to hear from you!
P.S. Watch for future blog guests, coming soon: teachers, authors, interior designers, cooks, hospitality experts, engineers, and more!