I love art in its many forms. When I paint, I often come to a point where I must ignore the inner critic that whispers this particular painting may not turn out. It would be easy to agree with it since in its unfinished state, around the halfway mark, the painting may look weak, messy, and rather, well…bad. Likewise, when directing, if the audience were to arrive a few days too soon, they might wonder how the play could possibly come together by opening night. And lumps of clay – at the start of being formed – look rather formless.
No one, except the artist, knows what is being fashioned. The canvas doesn’t know it will soon be a masterpiece, the glob of clay doesn’t know what it’s being formed into or even what purpose it will serve. The players can’t always see the vision of the director. But despite the messy, chaotic bits, each turn into something of purpose and beauty.
Just like art taking shape, so you and I become beautiful the same way. We are living works of art, created with purpose for a purpose. Like paintings, plays, and clay in progress, our lives may not have taken full shape yet; they may appear to be unfinished works. Every dab from the Master’s brush, every bit of advice from the Director, and the gentle pressure of the Potter’s hands applied to shape the clay, all serve to form individual masterpieces.
As we become more beautiful, our job is not to question the Maker. We don’t tell Him how to position His brush, where to dab the paint, and what quantity or colour to apply. We do best when we allow His beautiful colour to infuse the canvas of our lives, listen to His careful direction, and are pliable to His loving touch.
Sometimes, during painting I make a mistake. The paint goes on thicker than I would have liked or the line not quite right, but when looked at differently and worked with, it can often be turned into something that gives the painting some unique feature or added character. So too, if an actor accidentally forgets a line and choses to improvise, it can produce some of the most amusing and lively parts of the play. Even the glazing on a piece of pottery may unexpectedly mix with another glaze to form a new and extraordinary colour. Likewise, God somehow miraculously uses the mistakes we make to form beauty.
So do not be discouraged if you think you should look different, or better, or even appear a bit messy. Don’t despair if you’ve messed-up. You and I are unfinished works. And as works-in-progress, our Maker is diligently caring for His masterpieces for His glory and others’ good. You’ll be amazed – and others blessed – by the end result.
Know that: “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
May you remember that you are a masterpiece – a cherished piece of the Master!
- Do you feel like a masterpiece?
- Take time to reflect on Ephesians 2:10.