I benefitted from a grade school art teacher who helped my classmates and I gain a better appreciation for the arts. I was used to goofing around with Play-Doh, a little coloring now and then, and some paint by the numbers pictures.
I did enjoy the paper where a pre-determined color would be placed in a lot of different spots, all varied in size. My fond recollection was of sitting in a chair for hours, working meticulously with my crayons or paint box-strip of colors and a glass of water.
I was fascinated with the idea of how the image would develop over time as the many boxes or shapes were filled in. I was under no illusion that doing a paint-by-the-numbers piece made me a “real” artist. I simply enjoyed the chance to color or paint a scene of animals in a yard, an astronaut, or a superhero like Batman.
It required a lot of patience to work on each piece. My brothers and I worked alongside each other at the kitchen table while our mom made cookies that filled the room with their special aroma. Finally, we sat back and were amazed at the hundreds of slivers of color added up to become an image that we considered well worth our effort.
One day our teacher brought in a friend who painted without any numbers on a large canvas. It was a continuous effort of arms moving, paint being applied in what I considered a non-organized manner, until images and context began to appear. It was the outside playground, with kids all over the place, laughing, playing, and being just kids. It was impressive, colorful, instructive, and inspiring all at once.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:12-21.
As I think about that artist’s efforts that morning and the patience and precision it took to create that painting, I am still moved to look to my heavenly Father.
The Scriptures declare that the Savior and Shepherd of our souls looks upon all of us and sees the imperfections in our lives. Yet He lovingly and patiently does His work of reaching out to start and continue our renewed journey of friendship with Him. His goal now and then is to make a masterpiece of us – a shaping and molding that conforms us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).
2 Corinthians 5:17 says through the command of God those who accept by faith what Jesus did on the cross as payment for the rebellion and put their faith, hope, and trust in Him are made a new creation. That person becomes a new believer, belonging to God’s family, in a world which the Spirit rules, renewed after God’s image, with a renewed understanding and knowledge, and able to live a life of holiness that pleases the Father.
What a joy it is to have access to such a God, who makes us new and never tires of investing His energy and effort into our lives so we might flourish as His works of art.
Grow devotionally. Only God can transform a sin-stained soul like mine into a masterpiece of grace. Only the clay can pause to recognize and honor the One True Artist.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz