Emily uses art to glorify God and she feels His presence most when working in the ceramics studio.
“Just like God made us out of clay, I make my own creations out of clay. I connect with God in the studio, knowing this is how he has control over our lives. Though I have control over the clay, it sometimes decides to do things on its own, however when it works with me and shapes to the plan I have for it, it becomes something beautiful. The ceramic studio is my resting place where God speaks to me and I can simply dwell with Him.” – Emily
Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. – Isaish 64:8
I went to Kohl’s today. If you have ever been in one of these department stores you will immediately notice the music. This is not because it is good, but because it is loud! As, I walked around and had no choice but to listen to it, I noticed that a lot of the lyrics of the songs that I was hearing had a common theme. They were all about “how can I find happiness?” or “I just want to know that I’ll be okay, can you promise me that?” or “show me that I will be happy ten years from now, because I’m not now”. That made me sad. Most of the shoppers in this store are young girls. Women that are looking for meaning in life and often find it in the wrong places. I just wanted to tell them, there is a way to be genuinely fulfilled! A way to have real joy, as opposed to momentary “happiness”. There is a God who wants to fill the hole in your heart, to mend your brokenness and tell you everything will be okay.
Recently I have been working on a photography project exploring spiritual places. My questions for people are, “where is it that you feel most strongly connected with God or how is it that God uses your gifts to His glory?”
At first this may be something that a person really has to contemplate. We all have a place or an activity that we do where we feel most spiritually connected. For me that is photography. Sometimes I go on “photo shoots for God” where I take my camera and let God lead me to what to shoot. Most often it is something in nature that catches my eye and reflects God’s beauty. Recently He has been using my photography to help others discover things about themselves.
Here is one of the photos from this series of a friend of mine. His spiritual place is in nature. He also tells a little bit as to why:
“There is something transcendent about being in the wild. It is more than merely scaling over rock and stone or plunging through rivers and streams. There is a sentiment in mankind that longs to be free of the artificial self, this false person-hood that has usurped and dethroned the natural, free soul that God created within mankind. Though it is indeed wild, this natural self is one of innocence and natural beauty. It is the essence of what life was truly meant to be. And yet we build our own constructs, forsaking that for which we were created and designed. In these ways, we forget our ancient bonds to the deeper life. One of struggle and danger contrasted with insurmountable wonder, beauty and excitement. We long to regain that connection and yet, are terrified by the thought of it. Towering mountains, rolling waterfalls, fragrant pines and spacious skies all speak of this wildness. They remind me of who I am. They remind me that this innocence was never truly lost, only misplaced. It waits patiently at the foot of every hill, in the mist of every cascade and in the quiet splendor of every forest… waiting to be found again.” -Matt
I call this, a “Painting of God”
I recently took a trip to Costa Rica, to get away and try and make sense of the life I was living. God really spoke to me while I was there, and he painted this for me.
I am a photographer. Taking well thought out and meaningful photographs is where I find a lot of joy. Photography is a huge way that I worship God and bring glory to Him. For a very long time I didn’t know what worship meant. I thought, “how can I live my life for God unless I become a missionary or a pastor?” I then found that I could worship God through all that I do. And I didn’t have to try to be good enough.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
And Romans 12:4-6 says, “We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body. So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us.”
I have found just how much God can use my gift of photography to do the work of His hands.
Aperture is a very important part of a camera. It is an opening that lets light in. To me, Jesus is the light and we are the opening. If we let Jesus into the opening (our heart), He can produce beauty out of the darkness (the photograph).
Though life is a long, and more often than not, a tough path, we do have light in the darkness.
God is like a candle in the dark. He leads us everyday by illuminating what is in front of us, but we are not necessarily meant to know our entire life’s plan right now. Through faith in God, we are revealed His plan for us a little at the time. This brings so much peace and relief of stress and causes us not to worry about the future like we may have before.
We are meant to be nobody but ourselves. There’s nothing more that we have to strive to be that can make God love us anymore than He already does. To me, that is amazing!