Kate Taliaferro contemplates the magical and purposeful time of creative waiting.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Wait? How is waiting thrilling? Waiting is boring, inconvenient and certainly any other adjective other than thrilling.”
My answer to you is, “Ah, I didn’t specify what kind of waiting I’m talking about.” I’m not talking about waiting in the doctor’s office, though this could become an opportunity for the type of waiting I’m thinking of. I’m not talking about waiting in line, or waiting for your DoorDash to arrive. I am talking about creative waiting - that is, waiting for the thing to come into being that you are creating.
Examples, because that sounds like it could be complicated. I’m thinking about moments such as:
- The time it takes to go from strings of yarn to finished knitted scarf or hat
- The time it takes to go from blank canvas to painted portrait
- The time it takes to go from full roll of film (film, remember film?) to empty roll of film to post office to the lab to prints back to your home to see what pictures you managed to take.
- The time it takes to go from positive pregnancy test to … is the creation ever truly finished?
- The time it takes to [insert the thing you’ve started to think about here]
There is something magical in the time between conception of an idea to the idea coming to life. It is thrilling, to be creating. To be actively engaging in the making of something that wasn’t there before. We all do this, even if you aren’t a knitter, painter, photographer, parent, etc.
Part of being human, of being made in the image and likeness of God, is that we are participants in creation. We are creators, though it’s important to quickly and decisively clarify that we are no where near our Creator -- capital C.
God creates out of nothing. There was no substance outside of God when He made the world. He loved and spoke it into being. As much as I wish I could speak my sweater into being, no amount of speaking is going to knit those stitches. As much as my husband wishes he could love his film into prints, it won’t make the post office or the lab work any more quickly. As challenging as the 2- to 3-year-old years are, no amount of speaking, shouting, loving, or crying will make them roll forward with greater ease or speed.
We are creators, yes. But we have to wait on our creations. Our creations take work, time, effort. We have to wait for them to be finished, if they ever will be. But our waiting is far from boring: it is full of action. We stitch, we craft, we discipline, we rejoice, we build up, we tear down to rebuild again. We are actively participating in our creation each and every day. While we long for the finished product, half (or maybe even more than half) of the fun is in the process.
As humans, we are pulled toward making, toward creating. For you this might look like a dinner from scratch, another chapter in the book you are writing, a sundress for your daughter, a garden plot in the backyard. It might be in a schedule well ordered, a tidy home, or an organized workspace. Every single day, we create something. Every single day, we have to wait while we work for it.
Waiting is hard, but it is not without purpose and, when you stop to think about it, is far from boring. Our waiting grants us the opportunity to be in touch with who we are and why we are here. It can remind us that we were made by a Creator and it is in His image we were made. I hope that as you go about your day and you find yourself waiting, pause and thank God for the opportunity to create, and in that, the opportunity to wait.
This is my initial attempt at a knit shawl, which I tore out because I felt the color contrast was too high. I am so happy I did because these 3 colors blend much better together. I never would have figured it out if I hadn’t taken the time to try it and then revamp it. I am still waiting for the end result, but happily working toward it every day!
Copyright 2021 Kate Taliaferro
Images copyright 2021 Kate Taliaferro, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mom of 6. She has a Masters in Religious Education and tries to find God's presence in all parts of her day, be it cooking, cleaning or just the everyday ordinary. She enjoys homeschooling, stitching crafts and finding cheerios between the couch cushions. She blogs at Daily Graces.