The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
Finding the sacred in everyday life
The sacredness of drawing monsters
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Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.
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By simplyfaithful
Aug. 29, 2013 11:10 a.m.

At our house even a conversation about monsters is never simple.
I had barely walked through the door when Benjamin showed me his drawings. There were six monsters of all different colors and all different abilities on one big page, and they were all fantastical.
He had talked his dad into taking dictation, so two of the monsters had names: Shadow Puppet and Reptiliat The Unchained, to be exact. And as he told me about them and their powers, he slipped in a question about God creating monsters.
“I don’t know that God created monsters,” I said. “I think that’s something we came up with.”
“With our imaginations,” Benjamin said, more a statement than a question. Then, a thoughtful pause: “Do you think God minds that we made something up?”
My mind stuttered for a moment – or maybe it was my heart.
“I think God loves that we made something up,” I told him before I pointed to our book about snowflakes, the one with close-up pictures of the intricate designs.  “God loves to create.”
Each snowflake is different and beautiful, I reminded him. Then there are the sunrises God paints fresh every morning and the shades of blue that decorate the oceans and the seas.
Benjamin beamed at the idea that he and God shared something in common, and I shook my head at how easily I forget. I put dishes and laundry and paycheck ahead of baking and doodling, ahead of crafting and journaling. I tell myself that those artistic things are things I can get to later, after the real work is done. I forget that creating was some of God’s first work, some of his most important.
Busy people don’t have time to write and send cards, to make their own bookshelves in their shops, to stitch love and warmth into a quilt. But in all that busyness, we’ve missed the sacredness in creating.
“In a sense, our creativity is none of our business,” Julia Cameron tells us in The Writer’s Life.  “It is a given, not something to be aspired to. It is not an invention of our ego. It is, instead, a natural function of our soul.”
A natural, and important, function of our soul. And something worth remembering.

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