It's a version of the problem of evil. My son was only four years old when he asked me, "If God is only good and God made everything, where does evil come from?" "Good question!" I affirmed. It's what I usually tell my children when I don't know the answer to one of their hard questions.
Twenty-four years later, I woke up on a Saturday morning with the sunrise. I know because when my eyes opened, dawn had painted the western wall of my room a glowing color of rose. At the same instant, the words happened in my mind, as though someone had spoken them to me: "For God so loved the universe. . ." So I wondered about the Greek word we translate as "world." Was it a word that can be translated either as world, or universe? I don't know more than a few Greek words, so I spent a few moments in qbible, and sure enough, the word is cosmon. The word can mean world, earth, cosmos, universe, beauty, order.
And then I remembered Rich Mullins would say that God is an artist, and each of us is his artwork. The thoughts fell together: God is an artist. His creative process expresses his nature. It is God's nature to love the unlovely, and to be merciful to those who need mercy. In the absence of our awkward, imperfect humanity, how could he express himself?
He loves imperfect creatures like me. Not because I am lovely, but because he is loving. God does not have to love my beauty, and that's a good thing. I am more awkward than beautiful. God knows that, and he loves me as I am. As an artist, God is thrilled with the beauty of expressing himself through his perfect process--the one that has a place for the darkness as well as the light. And like an artist he keeps working to perfect me, to make me as beautiful as I am in his dreams. Someday he will make me into a creature of light.
That's what makes him an artist.