This is to explain the second part of my logo and blog name: the origami metaphor. I’ve been thinking a lot about God as an artist, a creator and His creative spirit for nearly 6 years now. But I only recently took up origami. I was inspired by the documentary “Between the Folds” by Vanessa Gould. It is beautifully filmed and explores the art and science of origami. Seriously, go watch it. For all my artistic tendencies, I’m actually quite the logical and reasonable person. Thus, origami appeals to both sides of my brain at once. I think it’s similar to cooking. You can logically follow a recipe and get an expected result, and yet, there’s so much room for creativity, for spontaneity. And I also find that in regard to talking about origami, it always feel like I’m describing people rather than paper.
Before King David was ever the great warrior who defeated Goliath, he was a musician, a poet, an artist. And while God is all things at all times, He was our Creator before our Redeemer. I think it’s very accurate to describe God as a creative being, an artist, if you will, and us as His creations. In the past, I’ve heard a variety of metaphors of how God is shaping Christians into His perfect work of art. Now, there are two main types of art: additive and subtractive. For example, a figure built up with clay or paper-mâché would be additive while carving from wood or marble would be subtractive. Thus, according to the metaphor, God is either adding good to you or taking away something bad.
This metaphor is fine and there is a lot of truth found in it. But in what category does one place the art of origami?
“Origami is a metamorphic art form. You got that piece of paper, you don’t add to it, you don’t take away from it, you change it”- Micheal Lafosse
I’ve been pondering for many weeks on this thought of how Christians are like origami. Here’s what I’ve got: I am a sinner that is saved by Christ. I walk with the Holy Spirit and struggle with my sins daily. And that’s the way it’s been since I was born. I have both the light and life of Christ in me and the darkness of sin. My sin is a conquered enemy in the long run but it still lurks and will continue to do so until I’m done with this life.
As a Christian on this side of Heaven, I can only be so holy, never completely. Thus, I would say God doesn’t continually add or subtract attributes of our divine or earthly natures. My sin will always be there, waiting to exploit my weakness, waiting for me to say, “Just this one last time.” And so I would say that God takes us as we are, sinful yet saved, and transforms us.
I love talking to strangers. Every stranger is a mystery and I LOVE mysteries. I’m that girl reading Agatha Christie novels in the airport UNLESS there’s an interesting stranger that will to converse with me. But sometimes, I find myself talking to someone who is totally immersed in things that simply don’t matter. You know the ones? And all you can think about is how to get away? There’s just no depth to them. They’re very flat, two-dimensional; like a piece of paper. I was like that once. But then God took me just as I am, all my sin and flatness, and started to fold. Crease by crease, He gave me depth and purpose. A new life. Gradually, He tucks away my sins and makes me something new and beautiful.
Last thing. Promise. So often people talk about metaphorical scars from the past. Well, I find the word “scar” has a negative connotation. I prefer the word “crease” or “fold”. Some pieces of paper are folded simply with only a small number of creases. Some are immeasurably complex. Some will always remain the simple yet beautiful figure into which they were first folded. Some take a long time to be folded into their intricate shapes. And the thing about origami figures is that they want to stay in the shape they’re first folded into. So much like people, yes? It’s so hard to change sometimes! It was painful and hard enough being folded into the first thing but then be unfolded and folded anew? I find that God is constantly folding me into new things. People can see the old CREASES but that’s not a bad thing. It just shows the experiences of my life. I couldn’t go back to being flat and two-dimensional even if I wanted. No matter how many things you may stack on top, that creased piece of paper will never go back to being a pristine, unfolded sheet. And after all the creasing in my life, I have no desire to go back to being flat.