Written by Allie Sampson
Photography by Sydnee Mela
Painting by Alexander Arbuthnot
A little over two months ago, we welcomed twelve 18 Inch Journey alumni back onto the land for a six month season of creativity, discipleship and servant leadership. Since then, the Phase Two students have been led by our staff in weekly rhythms of art, music, book club and collectives. They have been challenged by creative avenues that are new to them and have been given the opportunity to both fail and succeed in the safety of family.
This year, our Phase Two students had the opportunity to choose between five different collectives: Darkroom Photography, Print-making, Pottery, Digital Storytelling and Musicianship. Each of these collectives are designed to inspire the students and give them an opportunity to learn, discover, and ultimately, be seen by family. They are set up to make space for students to get vulnerable and take creative risks as they are being closely led by our staff in much smaller groups. After two months of setting their hands to various art-forms, our entire community gathered together last week to celebrate them as they showcased their final projects.
Our community has a high value for being seen and celebrated by one another. We believe that creating and sharing what you create are equally important for your heart. Creating gives us an opportunity to step into wholeness, because creating requires our hearts, minds and hands. However, creating alone is not enough. When the Father created the world, He created someone to share it with. If our vision is to become like our Creator, we must take a step beyond creating and embrace vulnerability by sharing our work. Inviting others to see and celebrate our creativity is a vital step in our hearts coming alive.
We encourage you to ask the Father how you can invite others to celebrate the creative things you’ve been setting your hands to. Whether it’s a song you’ve finished, a painting you’ve completed or a story you’ve resolved, make space this week to let someone see you. Take the risk of vulnerability and let yourself be seen. Ask the Father to highlight someone you can share your work with that will answer you with encouragement and support. You are meant for creativity. You are meant for celebration.