From far away, it's a masterpiece. From this view, this perspective, it's beautiful in every way. A glorious picture, a marvelous story. The closer I get to it, the more detail I see. The intricacy of this work of art is exquisite. Some places have huge gobs of paint where it took extra layers to get the final color just right. Some places are worn thin, like time stripped away part of the original design. The brush strokes of the artist are all over this canvas. On this one in particular, I can recognize the artist by his signature in the corner-- not bold or boasting, but there, a quiet reminder of where credit is due. It's telling a different story from this up-close angle-- now I'm getting personal. I'm seeing the scratches in the surface, noticing ragged edges and uneven lines. When I take a few steps back, it all fades to that masterpiece again. I appreciate it more now that I got all up in it. I know it's not perfect, but that's what makes it so remarkable. That's what gives it true character, makes it unique. If it were perfect, I wouldn't relate so well. I have places in my life where layer upon layer have been piled on, just trying to achieve the final goal, make things look and feel just right. There are places that have been worn thin, places where time stripped a part of me away. The brush strokes of the Creator are all over my life like that canvas. His signature is there, not yelling and demanding fame, just quietly waiting, knowing the credit and all the glory are His.
Come on now, get up close. Come on in to my life. See the scratches, the scars, the rough edges. See that I'm just a canvas at the hands of my Creator.