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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
8:18

When creation creates

When creation creates

My comic draws me into deep reflection.

 I illustrate for my grandkids every month. Up to now, the art I send has been simple black-and-white marker drawings suited to their ages. You know: lots of personified animals and the like. But it has always been my intent to move eventually into narratives.

Even though I stopped writing picture books a decade ago, I delight in crafting a story. More than that, actually – I love the process of bringing characters to life. At first, each is just a simple concept of a person. But as I work with them (as any fiction writer will tell you), they become real to me – with their own strengths, flaws and intentions.

So, with great anticipation, I sat down recently and dreamed up an inventor boy and his fledgling robot. Soon after, I drew this, the first comic strip I’ll be sending to my grandsons.

Did that echo any concept in Scripture?  Even as I drew it, this verse came to mind:


Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
    “You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
    “You know nothing”?  (Isaiah 29:16)

So, here I am, a creation myself, creating a kid creator. So meta. As such, I marvel at God’s design to give us freedom to choose our reaction to him, our Creator. Imagine if I got up this morning and found that my comic had redrawn itself to be more what it wanted to be. Worse than that, it had denied any claim of my authorship, declaring itself the product of blind chance.

If I knew it would do that, would I still create it?

That’s what God did. Knowing full well that we would deny him, He still chose to grant us life. And he set into action his plan to redeem us through his Son, a plan he had in place before he spoke the world into existence! (Eph. 1:4)

These are deep concepts for a simple cartoon.  I don’t know how much of all this will work its way in.  But as I bring my own creation to life, I’m led to reflect on how God has crafted me.

And to marvel at both his willing risk and persistent love.

Lord, may we not be an ungrateful creation!  You have fashioned us to have a deep longing to know you and be known by you.  And you have given us life fully knowing how we would stray.  Draw us ever closer to you through Jesus.

Reader: What have you created that didn’t go according to plan?

Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And if you liked this, please use the buttons above to share it.

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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