Creatives, Attention, and Holding Up Your Lantern

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These are some thoughts I shared elsewhere with a friend, and am sharing here as well.

Frequently, in our culture, people are looked down on for seeking attention. And I’d like to question that. That belief, that looking for attention is somehow bad in itself.

The need for attention, to be seen, is a human need, and cannot be changed. A baby needs attention, to be held and looked at and spoken to and listened to. We do not change that need when we grow. It remains, and I think it is good. Pride, which is far more about comparison, status and enmity, whether from above or from beneath, is so damaging in part because it cuts us off from getting the real need met, the need it is a cheap counterfeit for.

For artists, in whom God has placed a divine gift of creation, it is good for our creations to be seen, and to be seen, they must be displayed. A creation made and hidden in the dark of some vault does no one any good, and when I or someone else gets into that kind of hiding/hoarding, it strikes me as inverted and sick in some way.

God made all things, and all around His work is on display, and we are all enriched. We are not God, but we are made in His image, and I think it wise to consider His pattern, how He did His creation.

We are in a sense, or can choose to be, makers of lanterns, of vessels which are not themselves the light, but which can make room for the Light to burn. It is, therefore, a great disservice to hide these lanterns, to squirrel them away and let no one see or use them. Even if we are afraid, which is very relatable. I’m afraid frequently to share, for a hundred reasons, in all groups, but share I must or I will get sick in the spirit.

My life would be poorer, except for those who chose to share. Everyone is poorer when a follower of Yeshua hides.

Fear nothing. God will help us know when and where to hold up our lanterns. And as we do this, the fear shrivels up and dies, and we will be left wondering what it was we ever feared in the first place.

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