All mankind was made in the image of God, who is the Creator.
A message by Merrick Porchéddu.
Photography by David Porchéddu at Artist Uprising Studios
Creating is the most powerful tool mankind possesses. From our hands we create art, recipes, technologies, medicines, new inventions, tools, buildings, gardens, homes, etc. We create life because God first created us. Even without our effort, our bodies can create human life. Our white blood cells kill off viruses and bacteria in an effort to sustain and preserve life. We are fascinating creations, and we all have been given the gift to create and to bring life, art, and innovation into this world.
In all good things, there also comes the perverse. As such we live in a fallen world.
I am reminded of a story my voice teacher and mentor once told me. She had a dream once where she was taken to heaven. She toured different rooms in heaven, each one had significant purpose both in heaven and on earth. As she went from room to room, she ultimately came to a “room of vocations.” In this room were the callings and vocations of mankind, individually crafted for each person to uniquely obtain a heavenly assignment to carry out on the earth. In this room, she describes herself “shopping for different vocations” with Jesus. Finally, she came across one that was so colorful, so whimsical and mysterious, so beautiful.
God spoke, “This calling was one of the most highly favored vocations of all.”
My voice teacher inquired, “Was? What is this calling and whose was it?”
Jesus replied with sadness in his eyes, “This is the calling of music and heavenly songs for mankind’s enjoyment.” He continued, “The one who once had this vocation couldn’t handle the weight of such a gift and the calling was revoked when he fell all those centuries ago.”
Lucifer was once the most beautiful of all creations. There was no archangel more beautiful than him. He was the one who was given this gift in the beginning. The gift brought him so much glory that he began to worship himself. God, the Creator of all things, was deeply grieved by this. When Lucifer waged war against God, God cast Lucifer out of His dominion and gave him his heart’s desire: His own kingdom to rule. Ever since, Lucifer, now called the Great Deceiver of Mankind, rules as a shadow of who he once was.
Arts & Entertainment have been a constant target of the enemy because he knows what happens when the created turns the gift into a god and worships oneself, or serves the art instead of giving it back as an offering to God in heaven, the ultimate Creator.
Creating takes sacrifice. It is to be valued, not just with the warm fuzzies in your heart, but it is also to be monetarily valued -- like anything else that has value.
Isaiah 44:12 says, “the craftsman with the tongs works with coals, fashions with hammers, and works with the strength of his arms. Even so, he is hungry....”
I am reminded of the famous Vincent Van Gough who was funded by his brother to make art. It wasn’t until after Van Gogh’s death that his works became widely known and therefore valued as an expensive possession. Think of all the artists who’s craft wasn’t valued until after their death: Edgar Allan Poe, Galileo, Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Franz Kafka, Oscar Wilde, Jeff Buckley, Bauch, and so many countless others.
In 2016 it became my life’s mission when I started Artist Uprising to abolish the term “starving artistry” by helping creatives understand their value and get paid for their work.
However, lately, I have been feeling a tug on my spirit to go one step further in my mission:
To call creators back to their Maker.
I believe that the enemy hates those that possess the skill to create, to sing, to craft, to build. Because what beauty we make only reminds him of what he lost so long ago and what he cannot return back to. So the perversion creeps in, and Isaiah 44 continues,
“The craftsman stretches out his rule,
He marks one out with chalk;
He fashions it with a plane,
He marks it out with the compass,
And makes it like the figure of a man,
According to the beauty of a man, that it may be placed in a shrine to behold its beauty.
Indeed he makes a god [of his craft] and worships it;
He prays to it and says,
“Deliver me, for you are my god!” (Isaiah 44:13-17)
As creators we must become aware of this pitfall before us. Not one of us is above it and the downfall is set for us all, no matter if you are poor or if your skill has made you great.
I believe all creators should be wealthy. Your work is needed. It is valued. And, it is to be praised by others! There is nothing wrong with any of that, and you should rejoice in all that you have made.
The danger is in the pride that comes with the craft. It can be so easy to turn the praise we are given inward, and begin to believe that we are the ultimate Creator and the reason for our success. There is also danger in believing that once we experience success as a creator, the thing we created will deliver us from poverty and oppression. We forget to see that God, our Creator, gave us this gift and through it He delivers us, by Him and his unique idea to put Himself in us all.
My voice teacher recounted the kindness in Jesus’ eyes as he looked to her with great compassion and seriousness as He asked her if she would “take this gift to the earth to remind us all that we as a human race may take hold of such a weighty calling, and use it to raise up a worshipful offering to our Father in Heaven.”
As I reflect on such a sobering thought, I hear the Holy Spirit say, “All you need to do is thank Him in all things.”
Every time we create something magnificent, let us remember God our Creator, and thank Him for the gift, the idea, the inspiration and insight to create.
He is worthy of giving Him back the praise we receive and remembering that every good gift comes from the Father of Lights.