The Common Good
May-June 1996

Reminders of Faith

by Elmer C. Yazzie | May-June 1996

Creativity comes from inspiration; inspiration comes from spirituality;
spirituality comes from holiness; and holiness comes from God.
All people are created in the image of God ...

Creativity comes from inspiration; inspiration comes from spirituality; spirituality comes from holiness; and holiness comes from God. All people are created in the image of God and so are spiritual, as well as physical, beings.

By having a soul, a spiritual life, Christians of all people should understand inspiration. Because we are created in God's image, we are not only spiritual, we are creative.

In Exodus 31:1-11, God tells Moses that Bezalel is the artist who will be in charge of the artistic works for the Tabernacle. Bezalel is described by God as being filled with the Spirit, having understanding and skill in all kinds of crafts. The first characteristic of Bezalel mentioned is that he is filled with God's Spirit. (He is the first person described this way in the Bible.)

Bezalel was inspired by God to create unique works so that the people could have visual reminders of God and God's work. Inspiration took place, creativity followed, and uniqueness was the result.

When one contributes goodness uniquely to their world, it is noticed because of its unusual quality. These unique contributions are a result of living spirituality. There is time given to enhance spiritual growth through such activities as prayer, meditation, reading, and fellowship. This lifestyle is sought out because one chooses to honor God.

Native American lifestyle is spiritual. Artistic design and spirituality are used quite often in Native American belief. These designs serve as reminders.

Many of the designs I do are created as visual reminders of my faith. They often meet the spiritual needs of others. I dedicate each inspired, completed piece. The piece itself is not to be worshiped, but the Spirit of God can communicate through its physical presentation because it is spiritually blessed.

May our artistic God continue to inspire your soul.

ELMER C. YAZZIE teaches at Rehoboth Christian School in Rehoboth, New Mexico, and is self-employed as an artist. He is a member of the Navajo Nation.

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