“He is the greatest artist, and we are his masterpieces.” –Johan Umana, Visual Arts Pastor, Calvary Church
You are God’s Masterpiece
Inside of each of us is a beauty that God wants to display to the world.
We are God’s masterpiece. And we have been shaped by his own hands to become a radiant light of hope to the world.
As Scripture states, we have been fearfully and wonderfully made. His works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:14)!
But how often do we actually live as if these words are true?
In our hearts, do we truly believe that God did something remarkable when he created us? That he has set a special radiance inside of us that illustrates his own beauty?
We are the work of God’s hands, and he is indeed the greatest artist.
Because God is a designer and creator, he has also left the artist’s touch on our own lives.
Inside each of us, he has placed a desire to create beauty for him–to reflect his goodness and majesty through creative ways.
Open Your Eyes to the Artist in You
Recently, I have had the privilege of helping with ColorMe–a youth art experience led by Johan Umana at Calvary Church.
And I must say that God has stirred something new in me. He brought to life something that has always been inside of me but rarely used: my artistic side.
I am a writer, so in a way, I am a bit of an artist. Although I don’t use a paintbrush or sketching pad, I love using words to create pictures, emotion, and meaning for my readers. It is what I love to do; it is what God has called me to do.
But God has also opened my eyes to see there are other ways I can connect with him.
Through the ColorMe experience, I have been left yearning to engage with the beauty of Jesus in a new and refreshing way.
In an artistic, colorful, creative way.
ColorMe Art Experience with Johan Umana
My involvement in ColorMe began one day this summer.
I was talking to Johan about a new devotional book I am writing called You Are My Treasure. In not so subtle terms, I was hinting to Johan, who is an amazing artist, how wonderful it would be for his drawings to be paired with my devotions.
Over the course of our conversation, he came up with the idea of using my devotionals for the upcoming ColorMe session that he was doing at Calvary Church.
I was thrilled at the idea.
So this fall I joined Johan in the art room to share my devotions with the students and engage their hearts with the word of God. (Below is the devotion I shared on the first day of class, called “A Light Shining in Our Hearts.”)
As I walked into the room on the first day of class, I saw color and beauty. My eyes turned to the back wall where a hundred colors of paint dripped down in an artistic display of God’s own palette of colors.
On easels, I found heart-stirring photography that told a story that words might never be able to convey.
Most certainly, I knew God was opening my eyes to the variety of ways we can worship him, show him honor, and reflect the beauty of the Gospel.
“As a church, we want to take back the arts for the Gospel, and engage the lost in our community.” – Johan Umana
Writing, Art, and the Gospel
I was excited to be in this new place, where young students ranging from elementary to middle school could be actively engaged with God’s word through Scripture, devotions, and the arts.
In each session, I had the joy to read one of my devotions to the students and then dig deeper into God’s word to explore the meaning. I loved seeing the students’ engaged faces and hearing their faith-filled responses to the Gospel.
Indeed, there is something about being around children who trust Jesus that gives me hope for this broken world. It stirs a fire in my heart and blows a fresh wind of faith across my face.There is something about being around children who trust Jesus that gives me hope for this broken world. Click To Tweet
Yes, their energy renews me and makes me want to keep running the race for Jesus. (So thank you, kids, for your inspiration! You have been a joy to my heart!)
Working with Johan on this art project has also proven to be a fresh wind of faith. I have been able to see firsthand his work as the visual arts pastor at Calvary.
The Beauty of God in Art
When working with the students, Johan is doing what he loves best: displaying the beauty of God through art.
As a teacher, Johan brings images to life as he talks about Scripture and how the truths and concepts can be displayed through art. Skillfully, he illustrates art techniques that can display the beauty of Jesus and the Gospel.
As the leader of the class, Johan has a calm, encouraging demeanor, which illustrates God’s grace. But at the same time, he loves to have fun with the kids and laugh. For example, one time I spied him doing the robot in front of the glass walls of the art room–making everyone laugh, both those inside and out.
Express Your Faith in Beautiful, Creative Ways
Overall, the ColorMe experience is a vivid one. One where students are able to learn about God’s word, grow in their passion for their Savior, and express their faith through beautiful, creative ways.
For me, one of the most rewarding parts has been to see the students’ determined faces when working on their artwork. As I watched them, I could see their desire to create something beautiful. I could sense that they wanted to express their love and knowledge of God in a unique way.
And each one of them did.
Surely each piece of artwork was delightful to God’s heart.
On a personal note, my youngest daughter joined me for the first session of ColorMe, and now she has a piece of framed art that reflects the beauty of Jesus. Undoubtedly, it is something that she can treasure for her entire lifetime.
She is proud of her work, that she was able to create something beautiful that could illustrate her devotion to God. And I know that each child, in the artwork they created, gave an offering of worship to God, the greatest artist of all.
A Relaxing and Creative Experience
With a grateful heart, I write this post. Through this experience, God has opened my eyes and the eyes of the students.
Through it, I pray that each child will see the touch of the Artist’s hand on their life.
I hope they will recognize that God’s beauty can be displayed by the work of their hands too.
Furthermore, ColorMe has allowed my family to see the value of art in our faith. Now we love to get creative together (and yes, buy way too many supplies at the art store!).
Gathering around the kitchen table, we work on techniques that Johan has taught us. For us, it is a relaxing, yet creative time where we can set aside everything else and just find joy in the beauty of God and art.
The Greatest Artist
Yes, God is the greatest artist. And he has given us the desire to display his beauty for all to see.
So this week let your light shine in a beautiful and unique way.
Go beyond the ordinary and worship God is a way that will bring about a renewed passion for him.
Let God etch his truths and goodness deep in your heart. Then give him a praise offering through the art you create.
Indeed, you are a masterpiece that God has created. Find your identity in him, the greatest artist. For he loves you and has created you with the riches of his beauty and love.
*To learn more about ColorMe or to sign up for a session, click here: https://calvarychurch.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/153734