Clomp, clomp, clomp. My high-heeled boots hit the tile floor as I walked. As if floating on air, my friend lightly ran across the open room towards me, full of excitement. “Want to see the invitations?” She asked as she pulled out a beautiful floral card. “Wow! You made this?!” I exclaimed as I examined the intricate pattern of water color painted flowers and perfect calligraphy writing. She nodded. I was amazed by her creativity and ability to design the card so perfectly with all the right proportions, shapes, and colors. Seeing her creativity reminded me a little bit of God’s incredible creative power and ability in making the real flowers she was imitating on paper. God made us in His image and imitating Him brings Him glory. Human creativity can be a beautiful way of imitating God.
A few months before admiring my friend’s art work, I can fondly remember enjoying fragrant blossoms similar to the ones painted by my friend. Among those fragrant blossoms, there was a big, beautiful monarch butterfly. But, as I got closer to the butterfly, my delight that it was holding still enough to take pictures of it turned into a tender sadness seeing that it was not only dead among the white flowers, but a spider was making a feast out of the poor butterfly (read more about the butterfly and spider in “Monarch of the Garden“). Destruction is a sad flip-side to the creativity and beauty we see around us. Flowers die, creatures eat each other, things break, and colors fade. Though some were saved for keepsakes, most of the copies of the beautiful invitation my friend made would end up in the trash or crumpled.
Although in science, the basic concept of things falling apart into disorder is entropy, there is something much deeper to this disorder. What do you think of when you see the word “disorder”? My desk is one thing that comes to my mind, and it usually gets that way due to my neglect, just letting papers pile up and things migrate there. Disorder on my desk is a passive act – I’m not actively or deliberately cluttering, but merely not taking the time to put things away where they belong. The “disorder” or entropy throughout the natural world is sometimes passive, like the desk example or rooms that constantly need to be dusted, but it’s also an active corruption.
Corruption is the opposite of creation. True creativity brings life and renewal, while corruption brings destruction and death. God originally created all things good and perfect, but when sin came into the world through Adam and Eve, it opened up His beautiful masterpieces to corruption. Passively, things began to go downhill toward disorder. Animals and people began to feel the effects of aging and death. But there was also an active, growing corruption. Animals that were originally all created as vegetarians ate each other and people became selfish, violent, and evil. Corruption destroys, breaks down, and misuses things, bringing death.
Corruption is not the end of the story, though. One thing in particular I’ve noticed and loved about my creative-minded friends, like the one who made the invitation, is that they know how to work with what they have (even broken, corrupted things) to make something beautiful or useful. God does the same thing – though His original creation has been corrupted and misused, He can re-create it into something beautiful. We can see this by looking at mountains or fossils formed because of the judgmental global flood. We can also see this by looking at the way God equipped animals with what they need for survival and beauty in this harsh, broken world. God does marvelous acts of re-creation in our ideas and people groups. In our culture today, many people have corrupt ideas and uses for God’s creation of the family and marriage, but He can even help us re-create and renew our minds from lies and brokenness. The most mind-boggling acts of re-creation that God does is in the hearts of individual people. Remember, no matter how far you’ve gone or how much brokenness and corruption you may have in your heart, nothing is too small or too big for God to re-create.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come ~ II Corinthians 5:17
Copyright Sara J. Bruegel, October 2016