Michelangelo, Marble, & Me
Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo
I was contemplating the season I find myself in - a season that involves pressure and pruning and warfare. A season that intermingles moments of profound sorrow with incredible triumphs. I was thinking about how uncomfortable it is when the master gardener comes and removes part of the plant that is dying, so that its nutrients are not wasted. Sometimes the gardener even prunes fruitful branches that have grown too heavy because the branches are in danger of breaking off (which could cause damage to the tree).
I was thinking about my need for autonomy and freedom, my need to conduct my life however I choose, knowing the path I often decide upon is the path of least resistance. I crave comfort rather than sacrifice…
even if the sacrifice would eventually produce greater fruit in my life,
even if the false comfort would produce future heartache.
I was imagining the massive block of marble that Michelangelo carefully hewed from a quarry and transported into his studio. This was a rock that was huge, heavy, and gloriously marbled. Yet, it wasn’t until the master sculptor took his hammer and chisel to the boulder that Michael the Archangel emerged.
I was thinking about God’s hammer and chisel and water in this season, cutting off chunks of stone, watering away the dust to keep each chisel mark clear, painstakingly molding my life into a stunning masterpiece. A season that is as equally beautiful as it is hard. A season where I feel myself exposed to the Master’s chisel as He lovingly removes the splinters from my soul and repairs the broken places in my identity. I cannot yet see what magnificent figure will appear, but I suspect she will be one who radiates His glory and compassion, a bride who is making herself ready.
When I said, “Yes!” to God, yes to His will, yes to His ways, I was saying yes to His studio,
His nail-scarred hand.
And maybe it’s His hand I needed to glimpse. This Master Artist, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame.
This Savior who chose me before I could ever choose Him.
Staring at His hand causes my “Why’s” to evaporate like rain drops on a sun-scorched pavement.
So, today I gaze on His hand and my tears fall, unbidden yet welcome and healing.
And I again remember…
He is worth it all.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10