There are photographers ... and then there are those who capture lifeANDart with every frame.
There are singers ... and then there are those who open heaven's gates with angelic voices.
There are writers ... and then there are those who wax poetically with every word.
Ann Voskamp is a poet who just happens to also write. She has a gift that is not teachable or passed on through a "Writing For Dummies" book. Her words flow off her fingertips, fusing beauty with every day life as naturally and unforced as our bodies inhale and exhale the very breath that keeps us alive from one moment to the next.
Simply lean back and relax into the opening sentiment of her latest blog:
"When love slips up from behind unannounced, who can do anything but just surrender to happy grace?"Or the way she records this heart-memory. The simple act of her father surprising her with a bouquet of gladiolas, hand-delivered in a recycled, Cheez Whiz glass jar:
"I'll happen to remember this forever. How you never know when love might come knocking unannounced at your door. How you never know who loves. How you mustn't ever stop believing. How he even blushed, boyish, shuffling in his boots."Or the poetic simplicity of describing tomatoes as "summer's largest berries". Painting a detailed picture in our imaginations with three words in place of the stock photograph our minds would have recalled had she left us with that single red word ... tomato.
I am inspired and motivated by anything creative ... as I wrote about in a recent blog titled Inspiration. But words have a distinctive way of capturing my affections and tucking themselves into my soul like songs that braid lyrics and melodies with memories ... flooding my heart with all the life and emotion of specific moments, no matter how many years have passed since they were lived.
Maybe it's because all of creation was initiated by Words: "And God said...".
Maybe it's because God left his heart, his history and his future for us through his Words breathed into the authors of the Bible.
Maybe my heart is inexplicably pulled to that form of expression because it was spoken into my unique DNA as my creator knit me in my mother's womb.
And maybe, just maybe, it's due to the comprehensiveness of the letter "D", which is perpetually reserved for that "all of the above" answer on every multiple choice test.
Whether A, B, C or D, it does not matter. Words are woven into the very texture of my soul. They are my gift of expression ... the same way that the sweet scent of jasmine is woven into the delicate, white plumes of the vine that blooms on warm nights and gifts us with its essence of summer.
Every one of us has creativity coursing through our cells, like a river winding down the slopes of a mountainside. We are drawn to that which was spoken into us. It may be covered by time or the pace of life. But just like creation was meant for us to discover, so is your unique gift. If your soul feels desolate or unvisited, brush off the dust to your heart and allow HolySpirit to uncover -- again or for the first time -- that which makes you ... YOU!