I am not a trained filmmaker. But, I am an artist.
When I was a young teenager, I corralled my younger siblings and announced on numerous Saturday mornings, “Let’s make a movie!” This consisted of my brothers being coerced into wearing our sisters’ dresses, toddlers transformed into mice using lipsticks and eyeliner, choir robes turned into judges’ court dress, and fire . . . always there was fire (much to my mother’s distress). My father was a brave soul for permitting us to use his relatively expensive toy to record our short films. We even had a production company name, “The Slug Company.” I do not recall what “Slug” had to do with anything, but it was copyrighted in crayon and had a cute trademark. We even made stop-motion commercials with Lego characters. We thought of everything.
I came to love that Panasonic OmniMovie VHS camera. It lived a long and happy life and managed to capture about 15 years of fun and love. It recorded the growing up of almost every child in our family (my first years were recorded in 8mm).
With the years of college and learning to survive in the “real world” in my twenties, I managed to lose a tremendous amount of my creative focus. I have always loved to write, draw, paint, take photographs, work with wood, bake cakes, knit, sew, sing, play the piano (what little I can plunk), design gardens, decorate my surroundings and bask in the illumination of fine art venues. Yet, somehow I found the stress of life corroding those moments of artistic development.
I married a filmmaker. And, he relentlessly encourages me to reawaken the artist within this weary soul. For a while I fell into a terrible habit of thinking that creative pursuits were extracurricular to life. What a sad pit in which to fall. My husband has reminded me that art and creativity are essential elements in enjoying life and the God who made it. The joy that I discover in creative exploration is a God-given gift, of which I am a steward.
Most recently, I have begun writing a screenplay (a topic for another day), and I have committed to taking photographs. I have a Canon 7D at my disposal, and I am learning to reconnect with the feel of her weighted metal body which warms in my hands and the sixth sense of what captures the joie de vivre of the everyday. I am discovering that when my eye is paired with the lens, I cannot worry or fret. I am forced to stop and listen with my heart. I wonder how a sensor and screws can be transformed into an instrument of worship, yet when I finish capturing a scene, I find myself more thankful to God for all that Has done for me. In this I am learning to understand more of Him, more of me . . . and more of what my husband feels when he lights a set with kino’s and china balls. The lesson learned is this: whatever gifts God has given to you, whatever exercise of skill brings joy to you and others, do this to the glory of God.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.