All of my creativity is tied to who I am, it’s tied to my daily rhythms, it’s tied to my daily decisions. I create out of what is in me, or, most of the time, the void of what is not within me. My creation reflects me, its creator.
I think it’s more than that, though. The Gospels tell us of a woman in Jesus’ day who had been bleeding for twelve years and had been an outcast in her society. She saw Jesus and touched the hem of his clothing with faith that she would be healed, and what Jesus said was, “I felt power go out from me.”
Certainly, the entirety of Jesus on the cross is power going out from Jesus for the healing and the restoration of all things to God.
And certainly you know what it feels like power goes out from you. Every single act of creation is just like this, where you feel this sacrifice of yourself to move the earth. Everything comes at a cost. Your creative action is a sacrifice of your own body and blood. It is very, very expensive.
Many people know what I’m talking about when I say that creative endeavors can be expensive.
Certainly, for things like music and photography and sculpture and all other kinds of art, the gear and the supplies required to create are expensive. But even more, it is expensive in the very toll that it takes on you. It feels like if you’re going to create another thing it will absolutely destroy you. Nothing will be left to create anything if you do just one more thing.
This is how I have felt for the past few months. I have been breaking my body and pouring my blood for a huge creative project for six months now, and it’s very expensive for my soul, for my creativity, for my rhythms of life.
I’ve been running around exhausted, never bothering to ask why, which is a shame. Because remembering why I am creating and loving others is precisely what can pull me from the exhaustion.
In Christianity we have a way of remembering why we are breaking our bodies and pouring our blood: the Eucharist. The Holy Communion. Bread and wine. The sacrament of the body and blood. We come together and celebrate the memorial of our redemption. The Eucharist is a physical way of remembering Jesus, remembering the breaking of his body and spilling of his blood, to heal and redeem all things to him. We are part of this movement, and by eating of his body and drinking of his blood, we are becoming a part of him (you are what you eat).
As we pour out, we are being refilled. That is the nature of this sacrament: it reminds us of the healing of the world that we are participating in as we step into our boring and difficult and exhausting lives. Remind yourself of why you are breaking your body and pouring out your blood. Perhaps as we gather and we remember why we are doing this work, as we share together in the bread and wine, we can get a sense of each other. We can begin to see that everyone feels like they are pouring themselves out and that we all feel drained, we all feel exhausted, and we all need to eat together of the body and blood. We will become a reminder to each other of this sacrifice for the healing of the world that we are called to emulate in the dailiness of our lives.
Maybe we will begin to be the Church.
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