"So God created man in his own image." --Moses
"As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness." --King David
If someone created you in an art form, what would it look like? Would it look like this?
Michelangelo's David--a 17-foot marble sculpture of Kind David from the Scriptures. And I got to see it up close and personal on our trip to Italy in 2017. The sculpture is a true feat of genius. I am in awe of how Michelangelo could make a piece of stone look like real skin, complete with muscle ripples and veins. Utter perfection.
Flawless! That's how Michelangelo saw David. Not surprising in that High Renaissance time period, when humanism was the thinking of the day.
But was it based on reality? No! We know from Scripture that David was not flawless. In both the narrated stories of David and the auto-biographical prayers/songs of David in the Psalms, we read of a flawed man--a sinful and broken man. He committed adultery. He murdered. (2 Sam. 11) He fled in fear. (2 Sam. 19,21) He failed to discipline. (2 Sam. 13). He took an unauthorized census, resulting in a deadly plague. (2 Sam. 24)
But he also crumbled before God under the weight of his sin. He understood his need for God. He repented and sought forgiveness. He was called, "a man after God's own heart." (1 Sam. 13:14) And in the end, God blessed and honoured him.
David was a mixed bag of sadness and joy, failure and victory, brokenness and wholeness. Hopelessness and hope.
HE WAS JUST LIKE US!!!!!
So I ask again: If someone created you in an art form, what would it look like? And would it be a true image?
Wouldn't it be nice to be sculpted as flawless? I've learned, albeit slowly, that trying to present myself as flawless is exhausting, and wrapped in fear, as I try to keep my imperfections out of the paint, my lumps out of the clay, my cracks out of the stone. No hope in that.
Recently, I've found freedom in vulnerability and hope in the truth of who I am:
Not flawless--just forgiven! And loved.
Quirky, broken pieces/sections forming a whole, like the following self-portraits.
These are three cubism-style pencil crayon drawings I did of myself about six years ago when I was getting back into fine art. Fun experiment.
These days, I like the quirkiness--the multi-faceted depiction, the variety of colour, the dark and light shades, because there's so much more to me, more to all of us, than just one piece of art. But even these do not reveal the complete picture.
I think I need to add one with dark shades: gradient blacks and reds, showing that side of me that is broken and sinful, that hurts others, and that needs Jesus' blood of forgiveness to cleanse the darkness once again, but also yellow blocks of Jesus' sunshine-love breaking through, and white blocks as a reminder of what He did on the cross, making a way for me to be clean because of His once-for-all sacrifice. Hallelujah!
"...he [Jesus] entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption." Heb. 9:12, NIV.
I also like these drawings because of my posture of prayer, however odd the perspective. I am reminded that this is where God wants me to be--to always be seeking His face and His presence in my moments, my days, my life.
Because then I can BE all He wants me to BE. Acts 17:28.
In the art world, cubism is not realism. In fact, it may be the exact opposite. And yet, when you think of it, a cubism portrait might be a better portrayal of each one of us than one done in a realism style.
You and me. We're all unique. There is joy in that.
Today, may you find joy in who you are, not just on the outside, but more importantly, on the inside. The one who prefers chocolate over steak, evenings over mornings, winter over summer, who'd rather read science journals than novels. In other words, the one God created you to be. Let Him lead you to become more and more of who that is, as His beloved.
Enjoy the cubism of you today!