Getting Creative for Lent

This Lent, I’m trying to do more drawing. Said like that, it doesn’t seem like much and I’m a little embarrassed to name Drawing as my Lenten discipline. But there it is: I’m drawing for Lent.

But creative works – drawing, writing, music, whatever – are very prayerful activities. I often find my best praying is done with a pencil and sketchbook (just as much of my best writing happens during Mass). I find the Spirit is never quite so alive and active in me as when I am trying to interpret a piece of God’s Creation into a little creation of my own. I start to see the world differently, to recognize the grace and the beauty that can too often be taken for granted.

The creative arts are, I believe, one way we can understand our having been made in the likeness of our Creator. It is also part of our call to be a Prophetic people – to share with the world a unique vision, to call attention to that which we might otherwise be too busy to notice. Lately I’d begun to feel like Jonah, letting my particular prophetic gift be swallowed up by worldly concerns. I had buried my talents in the ground instead of investing them in something that might bring about some return.

Josh McDonald is a writer and cartoonist who lives and works in New Hampshire and maintains a web-based comic strip at http://www.askrachelcomic.com.

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2 thoughts on “Getting Creative for Lent

  1. I completely agree that being creative is a prayerful state. I have to wonder about the “best writing during Mass,” though. Do you actually write during Mass, or do you just mean that’s when some of your best ideas come? For me, it’s the latter, and the framing of creativity as prayerful may help me feel less guilty about my often wandering mind. ;)

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