Today’s Word: ‘available’ as in… keep making your creative work available. The world needs it.
Henri Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian whose work was rooted mostly in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community. In the Today’s Word for April 5, I shared some of Nouwen’s wisdom that speaks deeply to me: “Sometimes you have to go far in order to come near.” While that is true, the “going far” sometimes doesn’t take us much further than our own front doors. Take, for instance, going far into the art and science of creativity in our lives. Many of us wrestle with the idea of creativity. We wonder where it comes from, how we express it, with whom do we share it? Nouwen has some great insight on this: “One of the arguments we often use for not creating something is this: “I have nothing original to create. Whatever I might draw, paint, or make, someone else has already drawn it, painted it, made it, said it, and better than I will ever be able to. This, however, is not a good argument for not being creative. Each human person is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived. Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well. Making something can be a very creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and to others. We have to trust that what we have to offer deserves to be shared. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to believe them.” I’ve been writing Today’s Word since December of last year. I do this every day except Sunday (my way of practicing rest, sabbath). While just about every day I hear a voice inside saying, “I have nothing to create, it’s all been done before,” there’s a stronger voice that encourages me to keep making myself available, trusting that what I have to offer here deserves to be shared. My hope is that there’s a voice speaking in you today urging you to keep making yourself available. That’s the voice you’re hearing today!