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by HOLLY PENNINGTON FAITHFULNESS Hearing God & Understanding His Will Trust Obedience
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“For we are God’s coworkers…”
1 Corinthians 3:9

“Will you ever go back to paint and paper?” 

I received this question numerous times after writing about my journey into the world of digital art. I was both intimidated and fascinated by the unlimited brushes, paints, inks, and colors contained within a device the size of a notebook. As I imagined the cabinet full of beloved watercolors in all of my favorite shades, trustworthy pens and brushes and piles of beautiful paper, I met the question with division. Part of me wanted to dig my heels into the ground of “pure” art, and yet, I sensed a growing pull toward the practicality of working digitally.

Today, months after picking up the digital pen for the first time, I have an answer to this question: I need both. I see how my work on paper has been changed through creating on an iPad and vice versa. Without the skills learned from years of dipping paintbrushes into watercolors mixed from tubes, there would be no digital art. Conversely, I see my art on paper changing after freely exploring new techniques on my iPad, without worry of wasting precious (and expensive!) art supplies. Without a doubt, one informs the other. It is a symbiotic process of co-creation.

I wonder if Paul had something similar in mind when he called us “God’s coworkers.” Perhaps he imagined our human contributions and God’s gracious power working together in such a way that something completely new is created. Just as the art I am creating today would not exist without the interplay of two very different approaches, God cannot do what He hopes and intends in our lives without the mysterious interaction of our willing spirits and His divine hand. 

What freedom and joy we have in accepting our position as God’s coworkers! How wonderful that we get to work together to create new things! 

Closing Prayer
Dear God, I am humbled to be called your “coworker.” Thank you for this honor! Make me sensitive to our interactions and the newness that comes from them. Turn my heart toward you, always, so I can respond to your loving whispers. Amen.
Article: Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle This is a wonderful read about art inspired by faith.
Question for Reflection

What excites you about being God’s coworker?

Holly Pennington
September 03, 2021

As an artist, I’m excited about being involved in anything God creates. What we can co-create with God, from paintings to relationships, from programs to communities, cannot be replicated by any other human on the planet. This, to me, is the essence of being a follower of Christ!