Artful wonder


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14

It’s official. I picked up a paint brush and put it to the canvas today for the first time in about twenty years. I used to love art. I still do…but over the years that love moved to appreciation rather than creation.  It’s a shame really. Fortunately, my son has stirred up the artistic side of me again. I cannot even express to you the sheer joy I felt when my son announced that he wanted to see a Monet painting up close for his sixth birthday. (Yes- An inner high five! He was born with an artistic spirit too!) He even asked for a book which featured Monet’s collection of works….a birthday gift I happily gave.

Georges Seurat: Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

Georges Seurat: Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

This morning, I woke up thinking about Seurat’s painting “Sunday Afternoon in the Park”. If you’ve ever seen it up close- or even just a print of it up close- then you’ll notice that the painting is comprised of thousands and thousands of tiny little dots. Yet when you step back to see the painting in full view, this is the scene you will see. It’s beautiful! The colors are so bright and vibrant. From afar, you’d never know that each person, each blade of grass, dog, boat, tree….all of it was placed one tiny dot at a time. Each group of dots forms a person, a face, an expression- it’s impressive.

Japanese Footbridge is my son’s favorite. Monet painted this bridge several times…in different seasons, with different colors. Although Monet used a different technique, his paintings have a similar effect in that up close they look much different than they do if you take a few steps back. They look clumpy and a little sloppy when you examine them at close range. But, when you step back….this is what you see!

Claude Monet: Japanese Footbridge

Claude Monet: Japanese Footbridge

I imagine that we are like these works of art. Our lives are comprised of little dots, strokes and sometimes clumps. They may come in the form of trials, health concerns, failures and tragedies and in the joys of marriage, service, fellowship with friends and families, and in the moments when you hold your children for the first time. We see each of these things one moment at a time. Sometimes they look messy to us. But, God has the unique perspective of seeing our lives as a whole. The strokes and dots are placed one at a time- each with purpose and each with the vision of the Master. We are His masterpiece. I take comfort in that.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Isaiah 64:8

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Please continue to pray for my sister and brother-in-law as they face some uncertainty in their lives. God is in control; though we may not understand.


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