“Don’t faint, don’t faint,” I spoke silently
to myself. “It’s just a hand, with all the skin scraped off and lots of *gulp* blood.”
The doctor began to take pieces of skin and staple them to the hand oozing with
blood on the operating table in front of me. The bloodied hand looked like
something out of a horror film.
I am a fainter. I have been since forever and would
have to lie down when giving blood so I wouldn’t fall and hit my head. And yet
here I was, now a nursing student watching a skin-grafting surgery for a burn
victim. I tried to think of anything else but the blood. I wondered what had
happened to this man to have so many burns. I analyzed the way the doctor
stapled the new skin in place to make sure it looked straight. I wondered if
the wall color was a good choice for an operating theater. Anything to stop
It was around that point in my nursing degree
that I started to have doubts about whether this was the career for me. But I
enjoyed meeting and caring for my patients. And surely this was what God wanted,
right? I was going to be a nurse missionary somewhere in South America. Nursing
was practical. I didn’t spend four months living in Guatemala in a non-English
speaking village for nothing, right?…This was the “godly” thing to do. This was the way to live a holy life.
I graduated with my nursing degree and worked
as a nurse, but that still, small voice became louder and louder and I felt God
saying “What do you love’?” Huh? That
can’t be God speaking to me surely. But that question wouldn’t go away and I
started to wonder more about it. I finally got brave enough to answer the
question and I realized that I loved art and design. Creative things got me
excited. But surely there’s no great job prospects in those fields, right?
Surely this was vanity and worldliness to strive after such things?
And then I read Genesis 1: 1 again. This time,
it hit me like a lightning bolt: “In the beginning, God created.” Oh my gosh. God
is the ultimate artist and creative one. God’s creativity is endless. The
earth, the planets, humans. He created them all. In fact, every one of us were
created in his image. And if we’re created in his image, then we too have the
ability to create.
I started to see that God himself had put
these interests, talents and skills within my heart all along and I had been
trying to ignore who he had made me to be. So I went back to university and enrolled
at the college of fine arts, where my fellow students had rainbow-colored hair
and wore weird clothes and had multiple body piercings. A far cry from nursing
school. With every new class I took in art school, my excitement and passion
for art and creativity grew. The classes were so interesting, and so easy because these people were speaking
Everybody has the ability to create and
innovate. Perhaps some haven’t exercised those creative muscles in a while. Or
perhaps they were told once that their drawing looked bad, or that they needed
to focus on more “important” things so they just go on existing and never
fulfilling those creative desires. And yet, businesses today are craving
employees with creative and innovative skills. Creativity is not just about
painting or drawing. In our unstable economy, businesses constantly need
leaders who can think creatively, and to solve problems through innovative
strategies. It’s businesses that can creatively lead and problem-solve that
will survive these unpredictable times.
FPU’s art department has undergone some
exciting changes lately. The department is now called the Fresno Pacific
University Department of Art, Design and Creative Innovation (ADCI). We now
offer three different creative majors, exciting new creative innovation courses
and new minors. We believe that God has given us the vision to invest in creative
innovation at FPU and to help equip students with the highly sought-after
skills that the workplace is looking for, regardless of the career field students
I have sometimes wondered how different my
life would be if I had stayed in nursing. Maybe I would be in medical missions,
somewhere in South America, but I know that I would have never begun to
understand God’s creativity and would not be living up to my true creative potential.
If we are brave enough to follow the creative call, we may be surprised at
where it will lead, but we will never be unfulfilled.