Wednesday, November 5, 2014

In Which I Begin to Ponder the Meaning of Life

We each begin our lives as a not-quite-so-blank canvas.

If you look at the picture above, you might think it blank or empty, but it already has some background.  It has the stretcher frame which consists of four pieces of wood joined together. Then it is covered by a piece of cloth that has been stretched over that frame and stapled into place.  It then has several coats of gesso to anchor the painting yet to come.

We each begin with a background as well.  We have bones that hold our shape covered by muscle, tendons, skin.  We have a genetic pattern passed down from our ancestral line that holds some of our distinctions in place and soaks into the fabric of who we are, but are also colored by what we learn as we grow.

As we each live our lives and try to figure out what we are "supposed" to be doing, we pick up markings and brush strokes that start forming more of the layers of who we are.  What will the final picture look like?  Will the colors be bright or dull?  Do the markings I see as cuts, bruises or scratches add to the beauty of the finished work?

As each of us becomes a work of art - and yes, I think we all are works of art - we have to travel through some dark places.  Many times we get scratches, dents, tears in the work surface.  People throw things at us: words, looks, punches, opinions trying to get them to stick and change the picture.  Maybe sometimes they are trying to rid themselves of those pieces, and maybe sometimes those are the only things they know to give.  But just as shadows and dark colors add contrast to a painting, these dark places are almost necessary to accent the highlights, the bright spots in our lives.  We need to recognize our sin in order to find our need for redemption.

I am still working out who I am.  I know others have opinions of me - not all of them good, but I cannot hold those too close.

I only know that I need to rely on the opinion of the One Who created me. 


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