…doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Ephesians 4:28

This is the week after my first Hutchmoot (but hopefully not my last). I learned a lot. I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head, trying to find a landing strip. It’s going to take a while to work it all out.

I read this verse on Sunday morning while sitting in my friend’s apartment, just as my weekend away was coming to an end. I had spent the previous three days thinking about my own, albeit small, creative pursuits, and where my story fits in the bigger picture of God, the world, and the arts.

And then I read this verse. The obvious conclusion here is that God calls us to share our physical and material blessings with those who do not have as much as we do, and I whole-heartedly agree. My family may not be wealthy by American standards, but we certainly have more than enough to take care of our needs, which puts us in the position of being able to help others. This is right and good, and is an important part of Christian discipline.

But in light of the things I learned this past weekend, I think there’s more here than meets the eye. What if the work you do with your hands – honest, hard work – is done to bring beauty to the world? What if your work is to paint beautiful paintings, write meaningful songs, prepare soul-satisfying meals?

I think we are also called to work hard in these areas, and as we do, we share it with those who are in spiritual need. We write songs, create art, make music, we reach into the deepest level of a soul. We can give light to those living in spiritual darkness.

We encourage those who are losing their way.

We inspire someone else to add their voice to the chorus.

We minister, encourage, edify.

Whatever your work is, whether you crunch numbers, raise children, or create art, do it so that you can share it with those in need. Our money, our time, our talents are for the benefit of the larger community, and not just for ourselves.

(I am also over at Grace for Moms today talking about ending childhood hunger. Please join me in the discussion there!)