Renewal of Work: Lilian Williams

Lilian Williams reflects on how her work as an Art Director for a large retailer fits into the redemptive story of the gospel.

Editors’ note: 

Our work or vocation is very much a part of the Gospel story. In this series, The Gospel Coalition India invites working professionals and entrepreneurs to reflect on their work through the five chapters of the Gospel narrative—creation, fall, redemption, renewal and new creation.

Lilian Williams reflects on how faith as a Christian shapes her work as an Art Director and fits into the Gospel storyline.

Vocation: Tell us about your work

I work as an Art Director for one of the largest retailers in the United States. I work on a wide range of marketing and promotional material (digital and print) to execute solutions based on consumer/brand behaviour.

The retail sector is completely new to me. But it’s been interesting to understand what goes on behind the scenes. Being part of a large team, I learn something new every day. It’s been refreshing, to say the least.

Creation: How does your work connect with God’s original creation plan for humanity?

When God created people, he provided them with wisdom, knowledge, and skills. People who seek him, experience his goodness and grace, both at work and in other areas of life.

Walt Disney once said, “That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instil hope again and again and again.”

As a visual artist & storyteller, I believe I too have a powerful job. I need to understand God’s character. I need to reflect his image in my work, attitude, behaviour, and the integrity with which I deal with situations.

Fall: How is your work making you aware of your own brokenness and the brokenness of the world around you?

Working in a highly competitive industry, my need for control surfaces repeatedly. I feel the need to have control over deadlines or even how people view my work.

Many a time I believe that my work defines who I am. Having said that, design & art is very subjective. I cannot control the way people respond to something I have created.

Over the years, I have come to understand that God is indeed responsible for the outcome and impact of our work.

Redemption: Could you share a recent example of how the Gospel made you a better worker?

In the rat race we are in, we forget to offer ourselves—our time and energy—to others. A couple of months ago, I switched to a hybrid system of work after working from home for 2.5 years.

It has been challenging to balance interactions, fellowship with others, and work. I have been trying to make a conscious effort to be more present and available to those in need, even in the midst of my own deadlines.

Renewal: How are you able to love and serve others in and through your work?

The founder of the company I work for built it on Christian principles. He founded it with the golden rule in Matthew 7:12: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them. . . .”

This pretty much means treating your customer like you would want to be treated. This is easy to do in reality because the people I work with are kind and courteous. Even in the midst of challenges we are able to support and stand up for each other.

New Creation: How do you connect your work here and now to our longing for the perfect world that Christ will bring when He comes again?

I believe we have to work hard, making a difference in whatever we do here and now, even as we wait for the perfect world to come.

We should also spend time with God and his people—to serve the community we live in. We should also stand up for truth and justice and be good stewards of the earth.

As Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do right! Seek justice, and encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”