It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God.
– Mary Daly

A new program offering is taking shape at Inner Ground. Something we’re calling ARTSpressions. I like to describe it as a messy, greening, vibrant, playful, soul-nourishing feast. We select a theme – our first one was incarnation – and then we gather a group of folks around the table and invite conversation and creative expression on that theme. We did a little test run the other evening with a wonderful group of souls willing to play and share together. It’s amazing what happens when you give a group of adults a glue stick, some old magazines, and a pair of scissors!

At Inner Ground, we believe in the power of expressive arts to nourish our spirits and engage our creativity. And, yes, everyone is creative! As children we had lots of opportunities to play and get messy and experiment with stuff. As we grow older, those opportunities begin to fade. ARTSpressions is an opportunity to tap into both sides of your brain and to experience the ripple effects flowing into your relationships and work/calling.

Our dialogue around incarnation was engaging as we considered the fleshing of the spirit and how it impacts our personal spiritual journeys. We had a fun and messy time creating a collage of our hands; listening for the story they wanted to tell. In her book, The Wisdom of the Body, Christine Valters Paintner says that “incarnation is more than just being in the body; it is also allowing the body to be the very vessel of connections, service, and sacred encounter. Without our bodies we would have no way of interacting with others in the world.” (pg. 132) Our hands play a vital role in how we connect to others, scattering love and light.

We discover a deep and nourishing reservoir as we play and live into our creative essence. It’s how we become co-creators with God. Then the greening is not just about ourselves, but about the world around us. It is a life-giving flow; flowing in and flowing out.

I found a place on the bulletin board above my desk to tack my collage. I imagine I’ll continue to look at it and ponder what those images filling the outline of my hands reveal to me. A soul-nourishing feast!

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