Zion's superheros with border - photo credit  Julie Cochrane

Our three grandsons live next door to us.

Each afternoon the boys drop in, check out our fridge and pantry, then pull out the Craft Box and get down to some serious creating…. all the while chatting away, filling me in on their day. I love these times.

Zion is 7yrs old and lately has been making superhero characters. He draws them and colours them, and cuts them out. Then he and his two younger brothers tear around the house and yard playing out imaginary dramas with these characters.

I’ve always been fascinated by a child’s insatiable drive to create. Whether it be drawing superhero figures, building Lego structures, solving puzzles on their ipads, dancing, playing dress-ups, telling stories… dreaming and creating is in their DNA. It’s the way Creator God designed them – in His own image. We are all born with the hunger to create, a drive to craft something new, something unique.

I was reflecting on all this last week when I was hit with this thought:

If God is Creator, if creating is intrinsic to his immutable nature, then he must be creating continually. God never stops creating.

Now, I know you know that.

I’ve always known that.

But this was one of those revelation moments for me.

And it was startling.

What is God creating today? What did He create yesterday? Another plant species? Another universe? There must be an infinite amount of things that God has been creating since … um … well, throughout all of his eternal existence. God has never stopped creating.

It’s impossible for my finite mind to fully comprehend this fact. Who knows what remarkable creations exist outside our universe, or within it for that matter, that we just cannot know about.

But one thing I have come to understand is this – that one of the ways God chooses to create is through people. This is why He created us in His own image – so we could partner with Him in the process of His creating.

We are conduits. But not in an impersonal way, rather God delights to see this new creation of His with my spin on it. My personality, my experiences, my talents, my passions, my choices – it’s a partnership. God sharing Himself with me. Me sharing Him with the world. I clearly remember being overawed by this fact throughout my first pregnancy – each day realizing that God’s act of creating human life was taking place within me, and with my assistance. How astounding!

Sometimes we tend to limit our understanding of ‘creative people’ to the painters and sculptors, web designers, musicians, writers and dancers of this world. But if we look more closely we’ll find creativity driving the scientist to discover that new vaccine, the detective to solve that crime, the company manager to build that business, and the mother to turn that house into a home. Whoever we are, God will use our personality, our passions, our talents and our choices to express His creative nature through us.

God has assimilated His creative self into us. What a privilege. What an inspiration to locate what He is up to in us today, so that we can capture it and proclaim it to the world around us. Think about that for a moment – God releasing His creative passion through me today – with my unique spin on it!

zion's superhero gang - photo by Julie Cochrane

Zion, self portrait


The Masked Crusader


This morning my 2 yr old grandson, Knoxie, came to me and asked for my help. 
He was trying to put a mask on his face. Knoxie’s toybox has all manner of superhero masks, but this wasn’t one of them. This morning Knox had found a different kind of mask to wear. 

It was one of those masks you are given on aeroplanes to help you sleep. He had the right idea about placing this mask across his face, but he just couldn’t manage to get the elastic bands over his forehead and positioned around the back of his head. 
So I bent down and helped out.
“There you go!” I said as I stood up.
Knoxie turned around, poised to walk off down the hall.
“You can’t walk around with that on Knoxie,” I said, You’ll bump into something.”
“No, Nanny”, was his response as he set off down the hall.

It came as no surprise that about 5 seconds later I heard – THUMP!
Followed by –  “WAHhhhh….”
The Masked Crusader had hit the wall.
I found him sitting on the floor in tears, still masked. I picked him up, hugged him and repeated my earlier advice, “Knoxie, you can’t walk around with that mask on. You’ll bump into something.”
Taking the mask off his poor little head, I put him down on the floor and looked at the egg that had appeared on his forehead. 
Still sniffling, he took the mask out of my hand and attempted to put it back on, once again asking my help.
So I obliged, repeating the same warning, with added emphasis.
“Now don’t walk around Knoxie or you’ll bump into something again.”
“No Nanny,” came the reply, again.
Off he went. Before I could stop him he tripped over the pram which was lying in the hall.
And this time he cried even louder. One of those I’m seriously hurt  cries. I went over and picked him up. My poor little masked crusader cried like his heart would break. He buried his little face (still masked) into my neck and sobbed. 
I felt his pain. 
Tears welled up in my own eyes … but I’m rather ashamed to say at this point that the tears flowing from my eyes were not the result of empathy. Rather they were caused by a desperate attempt to stifle an incredibly irresistible urge to laugh hysterically. 
Heartless grandmother.
I removed the mask and examined the damage. Not only did Knoxie have an egg on his forehead, he now had one across his eyebrow to match. And a cut on his eyelid.
We went to the freezer, I got some ice, put it in a cloth and applied it to his eye. We then sat on the lounge while he calmed down and watched the end of Playschool.
After a few minutes, deciding  that eating the ice was a better option than holding it on his head, he jumped down from my lap and set off, maskless, to play something else.
So funny, yet so sad.
Knoxie wanted so badly to wear that mask and to do all the things the masked action heroes do in the cartoons his big brothers watch on TV.
He just didn’t understand what I understood. And he decided not to heed my advice.
He couldn’t see the relationship between being masked and the pain which he was bound to experience in the very near future. His lack of experience and understanding created a lack of foresight. He was setting himself up for failure. His noble intentions to save the world were thwarted by his failure to listen to sound advice! Twice.
Knoxie, the Masked Crusader, reminded me later in the day of how easy it is for me to be lacking in foresight. It’s possible for me to make wrong choices in life simply through lack of knowledge and experience. It’s possible to ignore warnings or advice because my desire to reach that goal, to fulfil that dream is more important to me than the preparation of the foundations that will be needed to support it, or of my understanding of the cost involved. How dangerous is it to wander through life wearing a mask of ignorance!

I’m blessed to have wise friends and family members who are willing to impart into my life from their wealth of experience and knowledge.  
But what’s an even more important source of wisdom to me is the Word of God, the Bible. This provides both the foundation and the framework for every aspect of my life. I’m committed to studying it continually so that I don’t make the same mistake Knoxie did –  bumping my way through life sustaining unnecessary injuries.
I want to be able to see clearly as I move forward on my crusade through life to save the world!