This is the text of this morning's Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Show:
You know what it's like when you keep telling people some story about when you were younger, but after a while you begin to wonder if it every really happened? I have to admit that as I get older this does happen a bit.
One of my abiding memories of secondary school – a big comprehensive in Liverpool – was an English teacher called Mr Burrows passing a school exercise book around the class one day when I was about fourteen or fifteen. We just glanced at it, flipped the pages and passed it on. Old Mr Burrows kept telling us to keep scribbling, keep writing things down, keep doodling, keep being creative. I think we were just bored teenagers.
The reason it has stuck in my memory is that the book he passed round had belonged to John Lennon and was full of his scribblings. Mr Burrows had taught him English.
Now, I think I started to doubt whether this ever happened simply because nobody really believed me. But, then I read an epic biography of John Lennon and there it was in black and white. All true.
Of course, now I wish I'd paid more attention. Or, at least, nicked the book. But, Mr Burrows' point was well made and I never forgot it. Being creative is something some of us have to practise – it sort of doesn't come naturally.
And yet, we are born to be creative. This is partly what is meant way back in the book of Genesis in the Bible when, in that great poetic account of what made human beings be human, it says that we are “made in the image of God” – who can't help creating and to loving what is created.
This actually lies at the heart of a Christian response to things like the disappearance of the Malaysian aircraft and the human tragedy of it all. Every person matters because they are made this way and loved infinitely for no other reason.
So, I am with John Lennon and Mr Burrows. Keep on doodling. We're made for it.