As creatives, we often find ourselves working in secret. We write in secret, we compose in secret. We design in secret, we paint in secret. We dance and rehearse and practice in secret. If we are not careful, we come to believe that our art is secret.
As creatives, many of us are introverts. This does not mean we are anti-social; rather, it means we are at our best when we have time to think and to recharge away from the world. It lends itself to being secret, to being invisible. If we are not careful, we come to believe that we are invisible.
As creatives, most of us have experienced rejection. We are rejected because our work does not fit. We are rejected because we are too bold, too soft, too early, too late. We are rejected because we see the world differently. If we are not careful, we come to believe that we are worthless.
As the Creator, God knows what it is like to create a masterpiece that is rejected by the world. God understands what it is like to chip away at something in secret for years or decades. God knows the frustration of putting yourself out there, only to be turned away. God is treated as the invisible one by the world, rejected in every way.
Some of us feel like we do not belong. Some of us have been rejected in every way. Some of us feel broken, worthless and unwanted. If we are not careful, we come to believe that if we see ourselves in that way, then surely God must see us that way too: worthless, broken, unloveable.
Take a breath.
Because God sees us. When we are lost, enshrouded in darkness, drifting like a boat at sea through the inky night, God comes to us like a light upon the water. He finds us in our lostness, in our brokenness, in our terror of worthlessness, in our paralysis of utter rejection. He sees us. He knows us.
And we know what He thinks of us:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
It won’t be a dead end –
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Saviour.” – Isaiah 43:1-3
God sees us. The Holy of Israel knows our names. He sees all that happens in secret: the work, the practice, the effort; the let-downs, the disappointments, the failures; the isolation, the doubt, the crippling fear. He sees us. He knows us.
We have been given gifts from God. He gives each gift with deliberation and purpose. And while much of our creative work is done in secret, the gifts must ultimately be given away. There must come a time when our work must see the light of day.
As creatives, some of us have remained invisible for too long. I invite you to step out of the shadow into the clear daylight. Expose your work to the air and let it breathe. Let the world see what God has gifted to you.