I love to paint, although I am probably not very good at it. I have all kinds of projects backed up in my mind, waiting to be done, along with books I’d like to write and such. Today, I decided to actually start a painting project on a cabinet in my dining room. I’m not talking about painting the whole thing. I wanted to paint a design on a part of it that has been driving me nuts for a while. So I started it right after lunch. I had already picked out the design, and picked out the paints I want to use. The vision of it is beautiful.
I’ve got some done on it. Not much. The white paint that I am using on top of a black background is thin, and will need a couple coats. I have a very skeletal sketch of the finished product, and it’s bothering me so much. It’s ugly. I hate it.
Like I said, I know what I want this thing to look like when it’s finished. I know what I want to be capable of doing to it. It just doesn’t look anything like what I envision. It isn’t finished yet, and I’m not sure if I can do my imagination justice.
This is what it’s like to be created anew in Christ. The Lord’s finished work takes time. While He’s busy creating masterpieces out of you and I, we are hating ourselves and one another because we don’t measure up to the idea in our minds. I am nothing like what I’d like to be. I have entertained a lot of hate because of that. And … sadly, I am guilty of despising the humanity in others, when I should be rejoicing at the Master’s work. What I would really like is to be more understanding of the process of creating masterpieces. The vision that becomes a skeletal sketch, which becomes a rough image, which becomes a final work that is beautiful. And you know what? The amazing work of art is hardly acknowledged as such until it’s fully complete.
Here’s the kicker: we won’t be fully complete for a long time. God is continually working in each one of us, recasting and molding us, working delicately to make us into the image and likeness of Christ. So, in the meantime, how do we stand one another? By understanding that He’s still working on us. We are going to screw up, and look ugly and unfinished sometimes. That’s because we are. I am and so are you. But, by the grace of God, we’re going to be a unique work of art, a masterpiece, one day!