This morning I awoke to a Monet sunrise ... a multiplicity of pinks and apricot brushed across a soft turquoise sky ... exquisitely beautiful, and fleeting. But unlike the sunrise or the crimson and white spotted toadstool that appears seemingly out of nowhere overnight and disappears just as quickly, many of natures masterpieces take many years to perfect.
Their colour and texture is laid down over months and years, like a Michelangelo ceiling.
Michelangelo didn’t want to paint the ceiling, he was a sculptor, not a painter and knew nothing about painting frescos, but the Pope insisted so he had little choice but to reluctantly agree. How hard it must have been day after day climbing that wooden scaffold and continuing the back-breaking work for which he had no passion.
It took him four years or fifty-four months to complete. The work permanently damaged his eyesight. In fact the painting took such a toll on his body he's recorded as saying, my “stomach’s squashed under my chin,” my “face makes a fine floor for droppings,” and my “spine’s all knotted from folding myself over.”
His masterpiece came at a huge personal cost.
Over years ... the tree bleeds sap ... the bark weathers and sheds ... the insect makes itself at home, branches break, wounds heal ... and a thing of beauty emerges.
Each of us is unique and so are the storms and gales that have battered and bruised us. We bleed and weep and through it all God is creating a masterpiece underneath the rough outer coating of our everyday lives.
For we are God's masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life. Eph 2:10