“Mommy, do you like my picture?” My three-year-old held up a wrinkled sheet of paper displaying two carefully scribbled circles, one purple, one green. Her smile glowed wide. “I made it for you!”
I took the drawing from her hands and studied it with proud momma eyes. “Sweetheart, I love this picture. Did you choose these colors just for me?”
“Yep! I did!” Her curly pigtails bobbed as she nodded.
“You are getting really good at drawing circles.”
“I know I am!” She hopped around the kitchen, and I giggled at her joyful confidence.
“I’m proud of you. Thank you for making me such a lovely picture.” I ran my fingertips over her spongy cheek and kissed her forehead.
“You’re welcome, Mom!” Then she dashed away to assemble Duplo blocks while I gazed a little longer at the drawing. To anyone else, those scribbles were juvenile and ordinary. Scrap for the recycling bin. But I saw a masterpiece.
And it occurred to me.
God looks at us that way, too.
We’re all artists of some variety. Whether we draw or sing or write, dance or sew or cook, teach or code software or scuba dive, for goodness sake, whatever it might be—whatever you love, whatever God designed you to do—when we use the tools God gave us to create an offering, we’re raising beauty from dust. That’s art. That’s worship.
But trouble comes when we start thinking our art is too important.
A couple weekends ago, I sang a solo at church. It was one of the biggest services of the year, so the sanctuary breathed heavy with expectation. Nerves jostled my stomach, and I fretted I might forget words or choke the high notes. God must be glorified, I thought, if only I don’t mess up.
But then, backstage, one of my wise mentor moms intervened. “I’ve been studying Ecclesiastes 3,” she said. “I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him,” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
Nothing can be added, and nothing taken. Huh. In other words, my singing—my offering—won’t make or break the kingdom. Nobody’s will. Then my friend pointed out that compared to God’s infinite artistry, even our grandest ideas are essentially nothing more than crayon circles on scrap paper. Sweet, yes, but far less powerful than we imagine.
So what if we mess up? So what if we don’t? Either way, the universe does not hinge on our performance. I let this truth sink in while I stood in the choir room with nearly a thousand people waiting to worship behind the wall, and my nerves melted away. God didn’t need me to nail that solo. In fact, he doesn’t need me at all.
He wants me.
Like I wanted my daughter’s scribbled drawing. Not because it’s brilliant, but because it’s hers.
I love how he loves us. Don’t you?
So go create something—sing a song, write a story, snap some photographs, try a new recipe—and quit doubting yourself. God will see the offering. He’ll grasp it with his hands, tack it on his refrigerator, and smile every time he opens the door. Because in the Father’s proud eyes, we are his masterpiece.
Say it with me now—I know I am.
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing,” (Zephaniah 3:17).