I didn’t remember ever hearing the word Cyclothymia, but it perfectly described what I was experiencing: Periodic episodes when my brain just cannot produce a good feeling.

Thankfully, a friend reminded me what to do: get to the wilderness.

I left a few days later. I went to the mountain where God first called me to be a pastor.

I wanted to do three things: pray, share the good news about Jesus with fellow hikers, and take good pictures. Not just snapshots, though. Art. I love art, and my favorite mediums are words, wood and cameras.

The light wasn’t very good the first day.. There weren’t many hikers, either. So the first day, I focused on my first goal. And I prayed. I hiked with Jesus. I sang to him. I cried a lot. I’m sure I looked crazy. But since I was recovering from a mood disorder, I didn’t care.

The light was still pretty bland the second day as I hiked up to the summit. But I met a family from Guatemala and a couple from England and a pair of friends from Germany. They all asked the same question: “Are you up here alone?” Nope. I’m meeting a friend at the top. Can I tell you about Him?

The next day. Oh, the next day, the light was perfect. I got my pictures. I got to make art.

The first thing we learn about God is that he is creative. “In the beginning, God created.” Literally the first five words of the Bible. On the same page, God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” (Gen 1:26)

Art is the product of a human who, in their divine likeness, creates something unnecessary and objectively beautiful according to God’s standard. Art is when we do what God did because we’re made in his image.

His work through Jesus in restoring the image we have so warped requires communication with him. It is accomplished through faith in Jesus and his the finished work. It is expressed in art.

That’s why Create magazine exists. Paradoxically, we don’t need to create, but we have to create because of what we are: humans created in the image of a creative God.

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