“What Serves Christ?” by Angela Liptack
“May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, and the hills be clothed with joy.” (Psalm 65:13)
In church and elsewhere, the call to serve is strong. To feed those who cannot feed themselves. To hug the frightened. To bind wounds, repair rotten porch steps, volunteer to chaperone a field trip. To visit a shut-in. To hear a sad story with no other role than to listen.
There’s joy in these acts. Absolutely without question. I see it in the faces of people who speak of their walk with Christ in this way.
But what if your walk with Christ doesn’t “look like” these things? Maybe it’s looked like this once in a while. Maybe never. What if the very best you know how to do is to dance? What if the gift you want to give is to sing? What if it’s to meet injustice with respectful resistance? What if it’s to create something that celebrates or adds to the beauty around us? What if your work, at this moment, is to grieve a hurt or loss and move on?
What if your call, today, is simply to “be still and know that I am God”? (Psalm 46:10)
Not that long ago, I began experimenting with fabric, reviving a teenage passion. Inspired by design-rich, traditional quilts, I began making art. My first attempt was very simple: Irregular skinny brown/gray rectangles set vertically against a swirly blue. An undulating white scrap at the base, a white dot for the moon. Voila—a winter woods. Did I do that?
I have been in woods like that, with people I love. People who loved me gave me the tools I used to create that simple scene and many since. Creating art that celebrates the beauty I’ve seen and the abundance with which I have been blessed gives me joy that starts in the center of my being, literally. Looking at these pieces has, apparently, made other people smile.
“Does this serve Christ?” I’ve asked several people wise in His teachings. “It does,” they say. It has something to do with joy. It seems that where your joy is, Christ is there too.
And yes, “Hills Clothed with Joy”—cousin to that first piece, also about six inches square, colorful and happy–has a special place in our home.