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October 23, 2016

Conversation, Community and the Creativity that Cares

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Written by: Duane Covrig
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“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Gen 1:26, NIV

Creation grows out of a sustained conversation that breeds a community that focuses outward in care.

While we understandably focus on Genesis 1:1–“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” as a starting point, in reality, the whole creation story is the tip of and outgrowth from a longer conversation and deeper community. Creation is always anchored in a continuum of conversation.

The Creation story is action but based on reflection and dialogue. It not just an event or an act or even a starting point per se. It is an outgrowth of God–a three in one reality–that breed a community that in Genesis 1 and 2 expresses itself in the joy and care of and for others.

For trinity believing individuals, the Creation story of Genesis 1 and 2 is a buzz of activity because it was first a buzz of conversation which grew out of epic’s of community.

Talk is essential to creation, which is why entrepreneurs have to work to cultivate their voice. But talk itself is a community invention as one talks to be heard and one can be heard because the voice of the talk arises from community.

Individuals need to hear and own their voice, but they do so best in conversation with others. This is the mystery of individuality in community. One voice is never enough for this creativity stuff to happen. It is essential but not sufficient.

Creation is a community experience where voices hammer out the  created order. And the created order invites new people to that community of creativity.

We have evidence that creativity invites more to the community in the creation story…be fruitful and multiple.

Care drives creativity from the future and conversation sustains it in the present and community anchors from the past.

That is the story operating within Christianity’s view of Creation. That the three–Father, Son and Holy Spirit– in ageless conversation and a deep community developed together this view of extending the dynamic of creativity in this Earth and Humankind experience.

And the pattern they used for this was themselves.

Community breeds creativity. Individuality is present, but always in the context of community.

Too often we get a distorted view that creativity is merely an individual action. This would be a monotheism without a trinitarian correction. Individuality is a shared reality. Someone gave it to us.

But it is ours once we have it. And this is what makes community so creativity.

Creativity’s sustaining engine is not individuality or individual expression but individual expression within a community.

So, there are three voices I believe at work in human community that feed creativity.

Mine

Yours

Theirs

The first voice listed here (although not the first voice we experience), is that of the individual.

“Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator—individuality, power to think and to do. The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen.” (Ellen White, Education, p. 17)

However, if one only has one’s own thinking and voice, this is insufficient–for creativity ultimately needs reinforcement to remain creativity and a care to pull them forward into the future.

Conversation not only reinforces but challenges and in that tension, creativity grows stronger.

That is where “your” voice is added to “mine” and in that space, a deeper vision and better view of reality emerges.

But it is only care–care for something that is not yet, care for the other that is outside of the you and I circle that pulls us forward into the vortex of creativity.

What can motivate the dazzling speed of creation but the longing to care and to create others who care about creation.

So it is with the creation story.

We see this dynamic when Jesus became flesh and stayed in conversation and community with us. We see his sustained care. We become part of that care culture that finds new solutions to the people in community with us.

We see the dynamic that sustained conversation and community left in the wake of Christianity’s creation…healing, understanding, learning, better social systems, and even the hope of the ultimate political system–the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. The engine of change.

Jesus could do this because he was in conversation and community. He knew his voice, he heard his father’s voice and he listened deeply to ours, and gave some of us back the ability to listen and to speak and thus become part of community.

If we are only listening, we won’t create. If we are only speaking, we won’t care, and therefore won’t create more than we already have.

Creativity is never far from the call to care and is always an outgrowth of conversation and community.

That is what I hope to experience today with the innovative  http://www.fruitionlab.org/

May God continue their creativity work and may we all experience the community of God.

 



About the Author

Duane Covrig
I teach leadership and ethics at Andrews University. I am a Seventh-day Adventist eager for the Second Coming of Christ and positive about His judgment hour work (Rev 14:6-12). I use that reality to understand morality and ethics.




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