The True Creative

About the time we all started to use adjectives as substantives, the soi-disant ‘creative’ was born. At that time he β€” for it usually was he β€” was easily identified by his appearance: black clothing, spikey hairstyle and heavy spectacles. He didn’t actually have to do anything, just look the part, in a rather mannered, self-conscious way. A short survey conducted on Twitter yesterday indicated that the concept has grown enormously. Now it seems we are all creatives; but still I wonder about our use of the word.

I have been privileged to know some amazing people, many of whom the world would label ‘creative’ and rightly so; but the most creative person I’ve ever known was none of these. When I first met her, she was already old. She wasn’t very well educated and had done nothing that would attract the attention of historians or biographers, but she had the gift of spreading love wherever she went. I cannot explain how she did that, but she did. People, animals, plants, all were surrounded with the same uncomplicated affection. She was one of the few people I’ve known who was genuinely unselfconscious. When she was a very old lady indeed, I asked her how she managed to show everyone the same kindness: ‘Is it kindness? Surely not. People are so interesting! Their problems are always greater than mine.’

That, I think, was my grandmother’s secret: she looked at the other person and forgot herself completely. In so doing, I think she shared in God’s own creativity β€” the only creativity worth having.


9 thoughts on “The True Creative”

  1. I also think the word is linked very often with the arts but I think you can be creative and and not artistic

    Creativity to me is a use of the imagination to enrich your life and that of others too

    Outside the box thinking really

  2. A wonderful story and it reminds me that the power of love is enough to overcome all – if we’d only try it first in any situation.

    I think that there just some people who exude love, without being conscious of it – and for some it combines with holiness which is almost tangible.

    My Spiritual Director is such a one – fully human in every sense that we use, but one who through his whole life in the Priest Hood has given out love and care – he is not afraid to hug when needed and to scold when needed. But somehow everything he does comes across as love in it’s true purity.

    Like your grand mother – he is totally interested in people and that it evident from the moment he meets you. It makes his ministry powerful and even in retirement he is in the greatest demand and finds it very hard to decline – again, if he does, it’s with grace and love with an alternative offering for you.

  3. The elderly are very underrated in the West. Learned or not , Academic or not , they have simply observed Life and Death, nature of people as well as the natural world. It seems that experience is difficult to pass on to the young.

  4. It is a special blessing when we encounter those like your grandmother who are love made manifest and a warm privilege to know such people.

    But we are all creative, made in God’s image to be creators. He invites us to co-operate in his ongoing Creation and prepare the way for the coming of Christ; ultimately, a new heaven and a new earth.We all have gifts (hopefully of Grace) of one kind or another and should pray that they be best used for the glory of God, irrespective of the world’s interpretation of creativity.

    A lovely post, Sr Catherine. Thank you!

Comments are closed.