Ex Nihilo

Self Portrait in pastel circa 1968

Self Portrait in pastel circa 1968

Oooo! Big Word. Don’t let it intimidate you, though. It is Latin for “out of nothing.”

Years ago, when my youngest son was in those lovely, tender pre-pubescent years, he was lying across my bed watching me put on make-up. I brushed a little blush under my cheek bones, used a light and dark shadow to sculpt my eye socket; defined my brow, eye, and lip with the appropriate pencil; and finished it up with a nice lipstick. As I was putting on the final touches my son exhaled loudly and exclaimed, “Wow! It’s like you make a face out of nothing!”

After recovering from the assault his comment had on my sense of significance, I thought there was a good message there for those of us who are creative, inventive people.

Often, in our amazement over the creative process, we do indeed feel like we have created something “out of nothing.” However, the truth is that only God creates out of “nothing,” or at least He doesn’t create out of anything that we can perceive.

Mankind always creates new things out of that which God has already created even if it is a pretty non-descript, beige-on-beige northern-European face.

One response to “Ex Nihilo

  1. Makes me think and next time I exclaim “Oooo!” I’ll think if I used it in an appropriate manner and remember God created!

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