Over the years I have received many “gifts” of art from children. As I look over and cherish these works, I am reminded that we were made to create and to give. There’s a beautiful directness and freedom in these works that try to capture something to be celebrated or record whatever is going on in their lives.
As an adult, I find it more difficult to have this kind of freedom while creating. Perhaps I ponder too long or analyze what I am about to do too much or just feel afraid to take these kinds of risks. It sounds easy enough to do. But why do I find it so difficult at times? I long for those moments when I don’t have to think about whether people will like the work or not, whether they will sell, not trying to waste expensive art materials or whether they will touch someone in a special way. In her book Walking On Water, author Madeleine L’Engle says “A lot of my adult life has been spent in trying to overcome this corruption, in unlearning the dirty devices of this world, which would dull our imaginations, cut away our creativity. So it is only with the conscious-unselfconsciousness of a child that I can think about theories of aesthetics, of art, particularly as these touch upon my questions about life and love and God.”
Because some of these children’s works were given to me in person, I fondly remember the enthusiasm, joy and love that was expressed in the act of giving. What can be more precious than receiving something made by another human being that was done with love? I hope to have this kind of pure, innocent and giving heart as I continue to create. I am humbled by these beautiful selfless acts of kindness and love which reflect the ultimate gift – God giving us His only Son so what we would have eternal life.