Find words and images of hope and truth hidden in a holiday catalogue. Use tape or glue to put them into a poem or a work of art.
What this looks like for me:
The Christmas season means that my mailbox is suddenly stuffed full of catalogues and advertisements urging me to “get into the spirit” by buying things I don’t need. The advertisements tell me that I need more, what I have is not enough, if I really love my friends and family, I will spend a lot of money buying them stuff.
Christ have mercy.
Rather than getting pulled into the consumer frenzy or falling into depression over our excessive consumption, this week I decided to use the extra supply of glossy images for creative exploration.
The Incarnation of Christ invites us to expect the Divine disguised in the ordinary, the everyday. Jesus came as a little baby, born in a stable. Hardly the form or the place anyone would expect.
So I decided to look for God in a catalogue.
From our recycling pile, I pulled out a catalogue with a stunning image on the cover and gently leafed through with eyes open to see what might be hiding there.
Images of darkness and light emerged—stars, snow, search lights, night sky. I ripped out the images, carefully tearing away any evidence of advertisement, and glued them into my journal. In gold I rephrased the verse from Isaiah I’d read earlier that morning: “those sitting in darkness have seen a great light.”
Next I found a page with a large text bank of words that all seemed to jump out at me. I tore out the page and began to cut out all the words that stirred me. After arranging and rearranging them in my journal, a simple poem emerged. I taped down the words with clear tape. It felt a bit like wrapping up a lovely gift. One I both offered and received.
In this season when so many voices vie for our attention, may we have the clarity of vision to see what truly matters, and may we find God hiding in the ordinary stuff of our lives.
Middle school teacher, foster mama, and creative contemplative, Stephanie Jenkins is a southern California native who currently lives in Los Angeles with her wonderful husband Billy. In addition to relishing time spent outdoors, she also enjoys yoga, art-making, poetry, and journaling.